Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Trump Declares 'Mission Accomplished!' After Airstrikes In Syria

Damascus skies erupt with anti-aircraft fire as the US launches an attack on Syria Damascus skies erupt with anti-aircraft fire as the US launches an attack on Syria
Laurie Berry | 15 April, 2018, 10:20

By October 31 of that year, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) "confirmed that Syria's declared equipment for producing, mixing and filling chemical weapons had been destroyed", as per a report from the BBC.

U.S. officials said they hope the strike will serve to deter Syria's government from using chemical weapons in the future. The United Nations estimates around 400,000 Syrians have died during the war and more around 11 million people have been displaced.

"The United States of America will not allow the Assad regime to continue using chemical weapons", she said.

In New York, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said at an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council that Trump told her that if Syria uses poisonous gas again, "the United States is locked and loaded".

"A perfectly executed strike", Trump said on Twitter, even as top Pentagon officials said they still were assessing the damage.

Syrian armed forces said in a statement, however, that the country's defense systems "intercepted most of the missiles, but some hit targets including the Research Center in Barzeh", a suburb of Damascus.

In addition, U.S., British and French attack aircraft, including two U.S. Air Force B-1B strategic bombers, launched stealthy, long-range missiles from outside Syrian airspace, he said.

"We are confident that all of our missiles reached their targets", McKenzie said.

The US says it overwhelmed and evaded Syrian air defences overnight to strike every target at the heart of Syria's chemical weapons program, in a multi-pronged attack from the air and sea alongside British and French allies. They only seek to send a message and would not stop Assad.

While Trump announced the "precision strikes" in Syria, Trudeau has ruled out any Canadian participation.

British Tornado and Typhoon fighters fired long-range air-to-ground missiles at the Him-Shinshar chemical storage facility, west of Homs.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been backed in the seven-year-long Syrian war by Russia, Iran, and Iran-backed Shi'ite groups from across the region, including Lebanon's Hezbollah.

Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, said Saturday that 105 U.S. and allied missiles were fired, of which 66 were Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from aboard three U.S. Navy ships and one Navy submarine.

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The official also said that US intelligence had tracked Syrian military helicopters above Douma before the attack and that they had dropped so-called barrel bombs, which Assad's forces have used in the past for chemical agents. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called it a crime and the Western leaders criminals. Earlier Washington, London and Paris stated that the strikes are a response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Syrian city of Douma on April 7. Moscow condemned the Western states for refusing to wait for their findings. Russian Federation and Syria denied this, saying the incident was either fabricated or was a false-flag attack.

However, Syria and its allies also made clear that they considered the attack a one-off, unlikely to do meaningful harm to Assad.

The Western countries were at pains to avoid further escalation, including any unexpected conflict with their superpower rival Russian Federation.

"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. The question now is, will the Russians tell him to?

Assad is going to keep testing the West.

The air strikes were in response to the suspected chemical attack that left dozens dead last weekend in Douma. That move by Assad demonstrated that Putin was either unwilling or unable to curtail both Assad's production or use of such weapons. "Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military", Trump wrote.

Last year, the airbase was a single target - the Shayrat airbase - that base that was believed to be where the Syrian regime's chemical weapons attack originated.

His generals pushed back, not wanting to escalate tensions with those two countries, the officials said.

Senior Russian figures have warned that missiles threatening the country's forces in Syria will be shot down and their launch sites targeted. That strike had effectively no impact on the war.

"No other group" could have carried out the attack, May said, adding that the allies' use of force was "right and legal".

"Surely, 100 percent, they'll not find anything", Fayez said.

Inspectors from the global Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons were expected to make their initial visit to Douma on Saturday. The Syrian government has repeatedly denied any use of banned weapons.

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