Damascus defiant after US-led strikes on Syrian government installations

Evarado Alatorre
Abril 16, 2018

What's unclear is where that red line now stands.

Trump resurrected the phrase in a tweet Saturday after the strikes launched by US, British and French forces in response to an alleged chemical attack by the Syrian regime that killed more 40 people in a rebel-held town near Damascus.

Trump did not rule out additional strikes, saying he would take additional action "as necessary and appropriate".

A senior official in the regional alliance that has supported Assad in the Syrian war told Reuters the attack on Syria will be seen as limited if it is now over and there is no second round.

The idea, we're told, is to degrade the regime's ability to use chemical weapons and deter Assad from using them on his own people in the future, and thereby enforce the global norm prohibiting chemical weapons warfare.

That did not mean military strikes would continue.

"Every city in the Middle East that has a water purification system probably has some chlorine". "We have to be conscious of the fact that we can't allow even the smallest use of chemical weapons". A senior administration official told reporters Saturday that while there was more publicly available evidence pointing to the use of chlorine, the US has "significant information that also points to sarin use". "Our warnings have been left unheard.We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences", Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said in a statement.

He wrote "Mission Accomplished!" on Twitter, a phrase that brought immediate comparisons to President George W Bush's misplaced optimism following the USA invasion of Iraq in 2003.

"The strikes don't alter that reality", Ross said.

He did not rule out sarin use.

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"And what's most important is no one contests that the use of chemical weapons can not be tolerated and must be deterred", he said.

That attack involved 59 Tomahawk missiles fired from two US warships in the Mediterranean Sea.

It was unclear whether Trump thought sarin had been used when he said on Twitter on Wednesday that USA missiles "will be coming" and accused Assad of being a "Gas Killing Animal".

Inspectors from the global chemical weapons watchdog OPCW were due to try to visit Douma later on Saturday to inspect the site of the suspected gas attack on April 7.

Trump said a small American force over the past year has virtually eliminated Islamic State control over what once was a vast territory spanning parts of Syria and Iraq.

Diplomats said it remained unclear when the council would vote on the proposal, and they were ready to allow time for negotiations to bring Russian Federation aboard.

And it would establish a new body to determine responsibility for chemical attacks, call for a cease-fire in Syria, unimpeded access for all humanitarian aid, and an urgent resumption of negotiations on a political settlement. The U.S. and other Western powers have blamed the suspected gas attack on Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is backed by Russian Federation and Iran.

Syrians deserve better than a choice between the evils of Assad and the poison of terrorism, she said.

France, the United States and United Kingdom launched joint military action on Friday evening, firing 105 missiles at the three sites in Syria.

Compared to strikes that President Donald Trump launched against a Syrian air base after a previous chemical weapons attack on civilians almost one year ago, last night's action was "more robust in terms of military action" because it was an allied, as opposed to unilateral, strike that targeted alleged chemical weapons infrastructure and is meant to be part of a sustained effort, an administration official said.

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