U.S. strikes Syria in response to chemical attack

Posted April 14, 2018

CBS News foreign correspondent Seth Doane, the only American network correspondent in Damascus, reported that as President Trump was speaking around 4 a.m. local time, they could hear "rumblings" that appeared to be the airstrikes.

Israel did very little to deny its attack on Monday on an air base used by Iran in central Syria, and Jerusalem is threatening more aggressive steps to keep Tehran from further entrenching itself militarily in its client state. He authorized a barrage of Tomahawk cruise missiles to hit a single Syrian airfield in April 2017 in retaliation for Assad's use of sarin gas against civilians.

"We can not tolerate the recurring use of chemical weapons, which is an immediate danger for the Syrian people and our collective security", a statement from the Elysee presidential office said.

The joint operation came one week after a suspected chemical attack outside Damascus left more than 40 people dead.

The second target was a chemical weapons storage facility west of the city of Homs.

The other two were storage facilities around Homs, a city to the north of Damascus.

The administration calculated that the need to send a signal to Assad over chemical weapons outweighed the possibility of provoking a response from his allies, Russian Federation or Iran, on the battlefield in Syria, elsewhere in the Middle East, or even in cyberspace.

The army said almost 110 missiles hit targets in the capital Damascus and other territory, and air defense systems brought majority down.

"To Iran, and to Russian Federation, I ask: What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women, and children?" he asked.

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"In 2013, President Putin and his government promised the world that they would guarantee the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons".

"Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path, or if it will join with civilised nations as a force for stability and peace".

Nevertheless, Assad's government and Russian Federation both responded angrily.

Several other members of Congress echoed Pelosi's statement calling out Trump for not going to Congress to seek approval. The sky looked orange over eastern Damascus apparently as a result of fires caused by the missiles hitting Syria.

Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, said Syria had used chemical weapons at least 50 times since the war broke out in 2011.

Russian Federation claims the chemical attack was staged. Britain's ambassador to the United Nations, Karen Pierce, dismissed Konashenkov's claim as "a blatant lie".

US Defense Secretary James Mattis and Marine General Joseph Dunford said chemical weapons facilities were targeted by both missiles fired from the sea and from aircraft.

Syrian-Americans anxious for their families overseas as President Trump announced Friday night that he had ordered airstrikes against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad in a coordinated attack with the United Kingdom and France. The Pentagon said it would provide a more detailed assessment on Saturday morning.

"I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain's national interest", May said.

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It was unclear whether his remarks reflected any unease about Trump's apparent move toward military action. Would U.S. allies join in the fight? Smeeth said the images of the chlorine gas attack were heartbreaking.

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The official spoke anonymously according to protocol.

A limited missile strike that slightly degrades Assad's military capabilities will change none of this, just as last year's USA strike changed nothing.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the latest suspected attack was staged by foreign agents.

"I support the United States and coalition partners' strikes in Syria".

A boy walks through war-torn Douma, Eastern Ghouta, outside of Damascus, Syria, last month.

Dunford said the US used its regular communication channels with the Russians to inform them about the USA aircraft, but did not warn the Russians about the targets.

The U.S. aircraft were reported flying along the coast near Russia's Humeimim Military Airport in the southwestern Lattakia province, Fars reported. Still, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee, said Trump's "premature" declaration emboldened Assad. Trump wants the Pentagon to withdraw U.S. troops after the Kurdish-led militia Washington is backing in Syria finishes off the remnants of the Islamic State terror group.

The Syrians said as many as 16 people were killed in the strikes, including nine civilians in the surrounding area.

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