Trump Promises Strike on Syria and Warns Russia Against Backing Assad

The Memo Syria debate exposes fissures in Trump's circle

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Mr Bush addressed sailors aboard a Navy ship in May 2003 alongside a "Mission Accomplished" banner, just weeks before it became apparent that Iraqis had organised an insurgency that tied down USA forces for years.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also said Wednesday all parties involved in Syria should refrain from actions that could destabilize the region. The Pentagon said it gave no explicit warning.

This latest chemical attack in Douma came days after Trump indicated a quick U.S. withdrawal from Syria after defeating the Islamic State group.

Last year, the U.S. military formally notified Russian Federation over a hotline shortly before 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles struck the Shayrat air base.

Syrian government forces have raised their flag over the last rebel bastion in eastern Ghouta, taking full control of the town of Douma as insurgents withdraw, Russian news agencies reported on Thursday, sealing a major victory for President Bashar al-Assad.

In 2017, Trump launched a cruise missile strike against a Syrian air base in retaliation for a sarin attack the United Nations later pinned on Assad.

President Donald Trump has put off a final decision on possible military strikes against Syria.

Jennifer Cafarella, a Syria analyst for the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War, told AFP that one potential target would be Dumayr military airport northeast of Damascus, from where regime aircraft used in Saturday's attack may have launched.

US President Donald Trump welcomes the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Khalifa Al-Thani (not pictured) at the White House in Washington, April 10, 2018.

Russian Federation responded immediately, saying "smart missiles should fly towards terrorists, not legal governments". CNN also reported that the USA used B-1 bombers, which are capable of firing cruise missiles.

As anti-war protesters waved placards outside, Mrs May detailed how Britain's strategic objective for military action was to prevent the "normalisation" of chemical weapons use.

Although officials said the singular target was Assad's chemical weapons capability, his air force, including helicopters he allegedly has used to drop chemical weapons on civilians, were spared.

Trump on Monday called the weekend chemical attack in Syria "atrocious" and said the USA will make "major decisions" about its response soon. The U.S. government has not generally supported arguments by human rights advocates for humanitarian interventions.

As it looked to head off the threat of Western strikes, Syria said it had invited the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which has blamed the regime for previous attacks, to visit the site.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the attack "necessary and appropriate".

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Western leaders warned Syria on Saturday that they could launch further missile strikes if chemical weapons are used again, while the pre-dawn attacks were denounced by Damascus and its backers as illegal actions that would carry repercussions.

Nervous world stock markets showed signs of recovery after Trump signaled military strikes might not be imminent.

Russian Federation has meanwhile taken to stronger and stronger warnings.

There have been periodic allegations of chlorine attacks and other types of chemical weapons use by the Syrian regime since then, however. The White House said it was continuing to assess intelligence and talk to its allies on how to respond.

It said on Wednesday that samples taken from the site had not revealed any chemical substances. He said the missiles hit the "sweet spot", doing the expected level of damage while minimizing the unintentional release of toxic fumes that could be harmful to nearby civilians.

When pressed, he acknowledged some unspecified portion of Mr Assad's chemical arms infrastructure was not targeted. "I am not like other administrations, where they say, 'We are going to do this in four weeks.' It doesn't work that way. I suspect, however they'll think long and hard about it". "It does not exist anymore".

Macron has said that any French strikes against the Syrian regime would target chemical facilities, and a British government official told CNN on Wednesday that preparations are being made by the United Kingdom for possible action but cautioned the political decision has not yet been made.

"New, stealthy JASSM missiles could be delivered by B-1B and B-52 (and now likely F-15E and F-16)", Mount said.

She said the attack was "a shocking and barbaric act which killed up to 75 people, including children, in the most appalling and inhumane way".

Disputing the Russian military's contention that Syrian air defense units downed 71 allied missiles, McKenzie said no USA or allies missiles were stopped. Russian Federation has blamed Syrian opposition forces for the attack.

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

Any US strike would nearly certainly involve the navy, given the risk to aircraft from Russian and Syrian air defences.

In a series of other tweets Wednesday, the president lamented the state of the USA relationship with Russian Federation and blasted Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation as "corrupt". According to the United Nations envoy for Syria, an estimated 400,000 Syrians have been killed since 2011.

"The combined American, British and French response to these atrocities will integrate all instruments of our national power: military, economic and diplomatic", Trump said.

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