What was right and what was wrong about Trump's Syria strike

May mulls Syria action despite cautious mood in UK

The U.S., Britain and France said they launched Saturday's strike to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad for an alleged chemical attack against civilians in the town of Douma outside Damascus.

Mattis is asking that "responsible nations" join in condemning the Assad regime.

The Pentagon says Syria launched 40 surface-to-air missiles in response to the coalition attack.

Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, said the allied airstrikes "took out the heart" of Assad's chemical weapons arsenal.

The strikes have become the latest, and potentially most risky, flashpoint between the US and Russian Federation, whose relations have appeared to deteriorate significantly in recent weeks, and have raised the specter of a proxy battle - or even outright conflict - between the two nuclear powers. Smoke could be seen rising from the northern and eastern edges of the capital.

"It proves high efficiency of the Syrian armament and professional skills of the Syrian servicemen trained by the Russian specialists", Rudskoy said at a Ministry of Defense media briefing.

Shortly after the one-hour attack ended, vehicles with loudspeakers blared nationalist songs.

"This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very awful regime", he said of the suspected deadly gas attack a week ago on the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Douma.

"There's still a residual element of the Syrian program that's out there", he said. He added that the strikes had not completely toppled Syria's chemical weapons system, but that it had been "dealt a severe blow". He is not giving details about what equipment is involved in the operation or what sites it is targeting.

"Good souls will not be humiliated", Syria's presidency tweeted after airstrikes began.

Trump says he has asked USA partners "to take greater responsibility for securing their home region, including contributing large amounts of money for the resources, equipment and all of the anti-ISIS effort". Increased engagement from our friends, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt and others can ensure that Iran does not profit from the eradication of ISIS.

The officials said the operation was carefully orchestrated and methodically planned to minimize potential damage, adding the U.S. is not aware of any civilian casualties.

Unlike the attack a year ago, in which American forces unilaterally fired cruise missiles at Syria, this latest assault was carried out in cooperation with USA allies France and Britain. The attack reportedly occurred in the Ghouta region and killed dozens, including women and children.

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The U.S. says it has crippled Syria's chemical weapons program, but Mohammed says the strikes were too little, too late.

"We invite Russian Federation to start supporting the innocent men, women and children of Syria who are being killed with chemical weapons", the U.S. ambassador said.

In separate calls, the Prime Minister spoke to the USA and French presidents to discuss the offensive and the three leaders agreed it had been a "success", a No 10 spokesman said. "We can not protect countries all over the world where they're not paying us what we need". She urged Russian Federation and Iran to help prevent any further use of chemical weapons by Assad's regime.

"The building had three storeys: a basement, ground floor, and second floor", said Said Said, an engineer who identified himself as head of the centre's paint and plastics department. There is tyranny." He called the Middle East a "troubled place.

"By working together, in a coordinated fashion, we can definitively prevent the Syrian regime from carrying out chemical attacks against its own people", Macron said on Twitter.

Trump has been careful to show a tough stance on Syria and has advocated for withdrawing troops from the country.

Trump has signaled in recent weeks that, despite advice from his national security team, he wanted to accelerate the timetable of the withdrawal of American forces.

"Horrific as Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons has been, these types of weapons are not what gives Assad his decisive advantages on the battlefield", he said. "Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military".

Last April, the Trump administration bombed a Syrian airfield after a deadly Sarin gas attack on innocent civilians.

"A perfectly executed strike last night", Trump tweeted Saturday morning.

That's according to a source familiar with the president's plans, who was not authorized to speak publicly. Assad has vehemently denied launching the chemical attack. "Instead of weakening the government, it only made it stronger", he said.

When asked whether the USA should expect retaliation from Syrian or Russian forces for the attack, McKenzie stressed that military forces are preparing for the possibility.

"I spoke to the president [Donald Trump] this morning and he said: If the Syrian regime uses this poisonous gas again, the United States is locked and loaded", Haley said.
Russian Federation could also fire at the launch platforms used - potentially US planes or ships.

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