Bid to get UN Security Council to condemn strikes on Syria fails

Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl

Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl

More than 100 missiles were launched early Saturday morning by the US and its allies France and the United Kingdom, targeting three chemical weapons sites in Syria.

A former officer in Syria's chemical program, Adulsalam Abdulrazek, said Saturday the joint U.S., British, and French strikes hit "parts of but not the heart" of the program.

Earlier on Saturday, Trump hailed the "perfectly executed strike" of the three western nations on Syria, noting "Mission Accomplished!" in his tweet.

The US, France and Britain fired 105 missiles overnight in retaliation, targeting what they said was Syria's chemical weapons programme.

"When our president draws a red line, our president enforces the red line", she added, in a dig at President Obama.

Behind closed doors, Trump pushed for a more aggressive response than the one taken a year ago, wanting options that would involve attacks on targets in Syria associated with Russian Federation and Iran, officials said.

France's Emmanuel Macron said Thursday he had "proof" that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons, and would respond to it "at a time of our choosing".

"They needed some freedom, they needed more democracy, they needed to share their opinions, but unfortunately the government in Syria is not very responsive" says Syrian native Hassan Almoazen. Putin added that the strike had a "destructive influence on the entire system of worldwide relations".

The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, described the use of chemical weapons as "abhorrent", but stressed that member states must act in accordance with "international law in general".

According to a White House assessment, the Syrian government used chemical weapons in Duma, Al-Quadri's hometown, on April 7, killing dozens of men, women and children and leaving hundreds of others injured.

The demonstrations in support of Assad were carried live on state TV.

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US, France and England attack Syria to stop chemical weapons
More than 100 missiles struck in response to a suspected deadly chemical attack on the town of Douma last week. The allies successfully hit all three of their targets, the Pentagon said , deploying 105 missiles.

One official who remained anonymous said, "This attack will allow the Americans to say, We have done what is necessary, then leave Syria, forcing Israel to deal with the Iranian threat on the northern border on its own".

"We specifically identified these targets to mitigate the risk of Russian forces being involved", General Dunford told reporters, adding the U.S. military advised Russia of airspace that would be used in the strike but did not "pre-notify them". "So Assad will logically see he has a green light to continue to destroy the opposition", he added, referring to the Islamic State.

The Pentagon said that a joint US-British-French operation against Syria's regime had "successfully hit every target", countering assertions from Russian Federation that dozens of missiles were intercepted. None of the more sophisticated air defenses that Russian Federation has positioned in Syria were employed, he said.

In a joint press conference, Mr Mattis and Marine General Joseph Dunford said three main chemical weapons facilities were targeted by both missiles from the sea and fired from aircraft, which triggered Syrian air defences. "They lost a lot of material, and that's going to have a significant effect".

The Pentagon said it gave no explicit warning.

Syria disputed even the most basic facts about the assault. The strikes were quite likely unconstitutional, as a smattering of Democrats and Republicans protested, justified based on an authorization of force from 2001 that pretty clearly doesn't encompass the Syrian civil war. For now, it doesn't appear that Russian Federation is heeding the call by U.S. State Department Press Secretary Heather Nauert who said that Russian Federation "needs to take responsibility".

But they have refrained from targeting Assad's government, apart from a volley of USA missiles a year ago.

Chemical weapons experts for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) arrived in Syria to investigate the suspected poison gas attack. They will collect soil samples and talk to witnesses to try to pin down what occurred.

"The United States and its allies continue to demonstrate blatant disregard for worldwide law", he said.

Another U.S. official, also briefing reporters on the condition of anonymity, said Western nations strongly suspect that sarin gas was also used.

By launching strikes without prior approval from parliament, Prime Minister Theresa May dispensed with a non-binding constitutional convention dating back to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but said speed was essential and that military action was in the national interest.

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