Syria attack: Theresa May says chemical weapons must be STOPPED

Syria attack: Theresa May says chemical weapons must be STOPPED

The president said the US would aim to hit sites "associated with the chemical weapons capabilities" of Assad's regime.

"The nations of Britain, France, and the United States of America have marshalled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality", President Trump said in an address to the nation from the White House at about 21:00 local time (02:00 BST).

Syria's Foreign Ministry called on the worldwide community "to strongly condemn this aggression", warning it would "pose a threat to global peace and security as a whole", in a statement published by the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency.

He added: "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?"

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has issued a strong statement of support for its three allies which launched a military strike against Syria over the suspected chemical attack of last weekend.

Mr Putin added that the strike had a "destructive influence on the entire system of worldwide relations".

Despite such confidence, other US officials remained wary, warning before the strikes that while Syria's use of chemical weapons can not be tolerated, much more is at stake given the backing the Syrian government gets from Moscow.

Hit among others were a scientific research facility in Damascus and Syrian army depots in the Homs area, state media said, and a Reuters witness said the Syrian capital was rocked by explosions as smoke rose into the sky.

The targets were chosen to minimise the risk of accidentally hitting Russian troops stationed in Syria, according to Gen. James F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

He also said that the US had noticed surface-to-air missile activity from the Assad regime.

The Russian military said 103 cruise missiles were fired, including Tomahawk missiles, but Syrian air defence systems managed to intercept 71 of them.

NBC News could not verify that claim.

FILE - A man breathes through an oxygen mask, after what rescue workers described as a suspected gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria April 4, 2017. "Let these united actions send a clear message to the regime".

Tonight, I ask all Americans to say a prayer for our noble warriors and our allies as they carry out their missions.

Read: Chemical weapons inspectors, how do they work?

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In a televised statement Saturday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said UK forces had undertaken a "limited and targeted strike" and that there had been "no practicable alternative to the use of force to degrade and deter the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime".

But a United States official familiar with the military planning said there could be more air strikes if the intelligence indicates that Assad has not stopped manufacturing, importing, storing or using chemical weapons, including weaponised chlorine.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has reportedly been arguing for a cautious response that would minimize the risk of the United States being dragged deeper into Syria's civil war.

"Good morning steadfastness", one broadcaster said.

"We believe that the strikes we have taken last night have had a significant impact in terms of what the Syrian regime can do in the future", Williamson said.

Mrs May has faced criticism from across the political spectrum for failing to recall Parliament and put the plans to a vote.

Parly said cruise missiles were fired and an air raid was launched from multiple air bases in France, the AP reported.

"I believe this was the right thing to do". She said speed was essential and that military action was in the national interest.

A USA -led attack on Syria will be seen as limited if it is now over and there is no second round of strikes, said a senior official in the regional alliance that has supported President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin calls Macron on April 13 to warn against any "dangerous actions" with "unpredictable consequences", the Kremlin says.

In a televised address, Trump said that the goal of the strikes was to "establish a strong deterrent" against the use of chemical weapons, and suggested that the strikes could continue beyond Friday, warning that the US was ready to "sustain this response", if needed. The Syrian government has accused Washington of seeking to use it as a pretext for attacking.

"Our objectives were met", Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told BFM TV. The airstrikes were "not about intervening in a civil war (or) regime change", May said.

Russian Federation entered Syria's civil war in 2015 and has backed the Assad regime.

The US policy is now to bomb Assad any time he launches a mass-casualty chemical attack. Just weeks ago, Trump said he wanted to end US involvement in Syria and bring American troops home to focus on the homeland.

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