United States leader Trump exclaimed "Mission Accomplished" after the pre-dawn strikes that lit up the sky around Damascus in a tweet that drew swift derision from his critics and parallels with president George W. Bush's notoriously premature Iraq war victory speech on an aircraft carrier 15 years ago. Could not have had a better result.
US defense officials also say there are no indications Russia's most advanced air defense system, the S-400, ever engaged any of the incoming cruise missiles, and may not even have been activated. Bush addressed sailors aboard a ship in May 2003 alongside a "Mission Accomplished" banner, just weeks before it became apparent that Iraqis had organized an insurgency that tied down American forces for years.
Both Russia and Syria continued to denounce the military strikes by the US, France and the United Kingdom as an illegal act of aggression. Moscow criticised the joint United Nations and OPCW inquiry as flawed. The strikes "successfully hit every target" and the allies "took every measure and caution" to only hit the intended targets, White said Saturday morning. The military said there were three targets: the Barzah chemical weapons research and development site in the Damascus area, a chemical weapons storage facility near Homs and a chemical weapons "bunker" a few miles from the second target.
Syria and its main allies Iran and Russian Federation blamed Israel for that attack.
Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, said no missiles were stopped.
Russia continues to back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, providing military equipment - including air-defense systems - and has sent Russian troops and paid Russian mercenaries to Syria.
The inspectors will investigate the site of the alleged chemical attack, which the Western allies believe killed dozens with the use of chlorine gas and possibly Sarin.
Syria says it knocked down 71 of the 105 missiles fired, but the United States says all missiles hit their targets.
Syria has repeatedly denied using banned weapons.
Her office said she planned to tell them the strikes were "in Britain's national interest" and were carried out to stop further suffering from chemical weapons attacks.
Haley said the three US goals for accomplishing its mission are making sure chemical weapons are not used in a way that could harm USA national interests, defeating the Islamic State group and having a good vantage point to watch what Iran is doing.
Pentagon officials said the attacks targeted the heart of Assad's programs to develop and produce chemical weapons, and delivered "a very serious blow", McKenzie said. That did not mean military strikes would continue; in fact, Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said no additional attacks were now planned.
Russian military police were ready to help protect the OPCW experts on their visit to Douma, said Major General Yuri Yevtushenko of the Russian military's Reconciliation Centre in Syria.
"Chemical weapons were used on Syrian men, women, and children in Douma".
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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, writing in The Guardian, said: "The military action at the weekend was legally questionable".
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the West's response was "necessary and appropriate".
Trump announced from the White House on Friday night that the USA, in coordination with France and the United Kingdom, had launched strikes on Syria following a week of threats of retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The U.S. says it suspects that sarin gas also was used.
"This is not about intervening in a civil war".
"This is hard to do in a situation like this", he said, in light of the volatility of chemical agents.
Sablin reported Assad as saying Syrian air defenses had demonstrated their efficiency, the Arab Republic citizens were "no longer afraid of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation".
Mr. Trump, who only weeks ago said he wants to pull USA troops out of Syria - there are roughly 2,000 there now - said Friday night the strike does not mean the US does not seek an "indefinite" presence in Syria. But the description from an ally put things differently. Still, French Defense minister Florence Parly told reporters that Russian authorities were warned ahead of time, as proof the action would be limited to specific targets.
In a statement Mrs May said that the Syrian regime had demonstrated a "persistent pattern of behaviour" when it came to the use of chemical weapons, that "must be stopped".
Since 2015, Syria has benefited from the support of Russian Federation under President Vladimir Putin.
Analysts view the latest retaliatory strikes by western powers as futile in a war that Assad instigated and won, after seven years of brutal fighting and the killing of more than 500,000 civilians.
Satellite imagery after the attack appeared to show the U.S. had hit its three targets.
That inquiry ended in November after Russian Federation, which backs Assad, blocked three attempts by the United Nations security council to renew its mandate.
While the generals surrounding Trump had insisted that the United States will have to remain in Syria indefinitely, the president himself declared in March that USA troops will be out "very soon".