Flights delayed to Israel amid US-led airstrike on Syria

Erika Holt
April 16, 2018

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the Security Council that the military strikes were "justified, legitimate, and proportionate".

They also discussed the need to reinvigorate multinational stabilization efforts in Syria to ensure the long-term defeat of Islamic State (IS).

Later Sunday, Trump sent a letter to congressional leaders informing them in writing of his decision to order the strike.

Since last year's strike, multiple chemical attacks have been reported in opposition areas, a lot of them involving chlorine rather than the nerve agent sarin, as was used in 2017, suggesting the government may have adjusted its tactics.

On Saturday Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron huddled by telephone to discuss their joint action.

In an indication that the West, too, would prefer to lower tensions, the United States and Britain both reiterated that their military action on Saturday was not aimed at Assad, Putin's ally, only at his use of chemical weapons. But the Syrian regime is refuting the effectiveness of those strikes.

For a president who has been widely criticized for not using strong language against Russia, Trump framed Russia's role in remarkably personal terms.

- The Russian embassy in the United States said it had warned that such actions would "not be left without consequences", adding that insulting President Vladimir Putin was "unacceptable and inadmissible".

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The bombings, hailed by US President Donald Trump as a success but denounced by Damascus and its allies as an act of aggression, marked the biggest intervention by Western countries against Assad and ally Russian Federation, whose foreign minister Sergei Lavrov called them "unacceptable and lawless".

Russian Federation had also proposed a draft resolution condemning the US-initiated strikes of Syria which was only supported by China and Bolivia. "We put facts contrary to your myths", he said. "This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons used by that very awful regime".

Russia's Defence Ministry issued a statement saying that more than 100 cruise missiles and air-to-land missiles were fired by the US, Britain, and France from the sea and air "at Syrian military and civilian targets".

In total, the United States and its allies fired more than 100 missiles, but the Pentagon could not confirm how many hit their targets.

Mr Trump has also defended his use of the phrase "Mission Accomplished" to describe the US-led missile attack on Syria's chemical weapons program.

Co-organizer Waseem Ramli said he's disappointed that Trudeau is supporting aggression with no evidence the Syrian government used chemical weapons.

But Chris Edelson, an American University professor who studies presidential war powers, said Trump - like previous presidents - has taken advantage of congressional gridlock to enhance the war powers of the president. Paris released a dossier that it said showed Damascus was to blame for the poison gas attack on Douma, the last town holding out in a rebel-held swathe of territory near Damascus that government forces have recaptured this year.

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