Trump blamed the chemical attack on Syria and Russian Federation

Erika Holt
April 17, 2018

The nighttime Syria assault was carefully limited to minimize civilian casualties and avoid direct conflict with Syria's key ally, Russia, but confusion arose over the extent to which Washington warned Moscow in advance. The Pentagon said it gave no explicit warning.

While the apparent use of chemical weapons is a consideration for the United States, I suspect there is something else going on in Syria which threatens to change the balance of power between these forces, of which we are not fully aware.

U.S. stock index futures fell sharply on Wednesday amid rising tension between Russian Federation and America.

Syria, which denies carrying out the latest attack, said it had invited the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which has blamed the regime for previous such incidents, to visit Douma.

Jennifer Cafarella, a Syria analyst for the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War, told AFP that one potential target would be Dumayr military airport northeast of Damascus, from where regime aircraft used in Saturday's attack may have launched. This U.S. -Russian deal was enshrined under auspices of the UN Security Council.

"On a strategic level, it's how do we keep this from escalating out of control, if you get my drift on that", he said. That sealed a major victory for Assad in the war, crushing a protracted rebellion in the eastern Ghouta region near the capital Damascus.

At the Pentagon, the director of the Joint Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, said the more than 100 missile strikes delivered a blow to the "heart" of Syria's chemical weapons network.

"We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences." the Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said in response to the airstrikes.

"Tonight I ask all Americans to say a prayer for our noble warriors and our allies as they carry out their missions", he said. The U.S. government has not generally supported arguments by human rights advocates for humanitarian interventions. There is an urgent need to protect the world from a trajectory on which predatory and rogue regimes are emboldened to break the longstanding taboo on chemical weapons.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the attack "necessary and appropriate".

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said any U.S. missile salvo could be an attempt to destroy evidence of the reported gas attack in the Syrian town of Douma, for which Damascus and Moscow have denied any responsibility.

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Nervous world stock markets showed signs of recovery after Trump signaled military strikes might not be imminent. "We are continuing to assess intelligence and are engaged in conversations with our partners and allies".

"Our decision will not target allies of the regime or attack anyone but rather attack the regime's chemical capabilities", he said, insisting he did "not want an escalation". He said the US knew of no civilians killed by allied missiles.

When pressed, he acknowledged that some unspecified portion of Assad's chemical arms infrastructure was not targeted.

"It does not exist anymore", he added.

Downing Street said the Prime Minister spoke to the USA and French presidents on Tuesday, and said they had agreed to "continue working closely together" to ensure those responsible were "held to account".

Speaking from rebel-held northern Syria, Mr Abdulrazek told The Associated Press there were perhaps 50 warehouses in Syria that stored chemical weapons before the program was dismantled in 2013.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the strikes would have "a destructive effect on the entire system of worldwide relations" and called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council, which was scheduled to convene at 11 a.m. EDT.

"Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria", Trump wrote. If the US' goal is to intimidate Russian Federation, then Washington will fail, the senator said. He authorized a barrage of Tomahawk cruise missiles to hit a single Syrian airfield in April 2017 in retaliation for Assad's use of sarin gas against civilians.

What if Russian Federation does shoot down USA missiles? Last month's attack with Russia's Novichok nerve agent on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, in the British town of Salisbury, comes to mind.

"We worked assiduously through the final days of the administration to galvanize our allies and other worldwide partners to help us address these omissions".

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