US, Britain, and France launch air strikes in Syria

Sheri Evans
April 14, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump announced the military action from the White House, saying the three allies had "marshaled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality".

- Syrian state TV called the attacks a "blatant violation of global law and shows contempt for worldwide legitimacy".

Trump also accused Russian Federation and Iran of being "responsible for supporting, equipping, and financing" Assad's regime: "What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women, and children", Trump asked.

The US, UK and France have launched co-ordinated missile strikes on Syria following a "despicable" chemical weapons attack on the town of Douma.

USA president Donald Trump said the chemical weapons attack in Douma was "evil and despicable" as he announced air strikes in Syria.

The strikes targeted three facilities associated with Syria's chemical weapons arsenal, including a scientific research facility around Damascus, a chemical weapons storage facility around Homs alleged to be used for sarin gas and a nearby command post, according to the Pentagon.

"This is a chess game and the Russians are ratcheting up the pressure", a US official told VOA on the condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation.

He said the Russian air defence assets in Syria monitored the strike but did not engage any of the missiles.

NBC News could not verify that claim.

Trump has been leery of USA military involvement in the Middle East and is eager to withdraw roughly 2,000 troops who are in Syria as part of the battle against Islamic State militants.

As Trump deliberated, the Navy said the USS Winston S. Churchill, a destroyer armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, was approaching the Mediterranean. "Let these united actions send a clear message to the regime". "We greatly regret this", he said. We thank them both.

Boris Johnson says the world is 'united in its disgust for any use of chemical weapons, especially against civilians'.

State-controlled Syrian TV said Syrian air defenses shot down 13 missiles fired in the attack. It's being blamed on the Assad regime.

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British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron said their forces had joined in the attack.

People gather at the Umayyad Square in Damascus on April 14.

The British Armed Forces said they scrambled four Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s to launch Storm Shadow missiles at a missile facility where the Syrian regime is believed to be storing chemical weapons.

In a statement later on Saturday morning in London, May said the United Kingdom was "confident of its success".

"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.

He added normal communication lines were used in the run-up to the strike to ensure clearance of airspace, but said targets were not coordinated with the Russians. "I think that's what the president is trying to do and I think he did the right thing".

Mrs May said "every possible diplomatic channel" had been explored before authorising the strikes, adding that it was not a decision she had taken lightly.

The U.S. missile strike a year ago, which targeted the airfield from which Syrian aircraft had launched their gas attack, was meant to deter Assad from further use of chemical weapons.

"We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences", he said.

French President Emmanuel Macron said France contributed to the US -led Syrian attacks because the "red line declared by France in May 2017 has been crossed". "Theresa May should have sought parliamentary approval (and) should do whatever possible to push Russian Federation and the United States to agree to an independent UN-led investigation of last weekend's horrific chemical weapons attack so that those responsible can be held to account".

In his nationwide address, Trump stressed that he has no interest in a longtime fight with Syria.

"We don't expect that we'll be a position where we're having to make further strikes", he told LBC radio.

"Assad's recent attack - and today's response - are the direct result of Russia's failure to keep that promise", Trump said.

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