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Western strikes hit bases, chemical research centres around Damascus: monitor

14 April 2018

Freeland made the comments on the sidelines of a major global summit in Lima, Peru, which U.S. President Donald Trump skipped last minute to deal with the recent chemical-weapons attack in Syria, which culminated in the launch of U.S., British and French strikes against Syrian targets on Friday night.

US President Donald Trump had earlier warned regime-backer Russian Federation that "missiles will be coming" to Syria over the alleged attack in Douma that rescuers said killed 40 people.

In announcing plans to strike Assad's regime, Trump also dismissed pledges from Russian Federation, a close ally of Syria, to shoot down any USA missile strike.

British Prime Minister Theresa May's senior ministers agreed on the need for action at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, but Downing Street did not specify what measures the United Kingdom would take.

The military strikes carried out by warplanes and warships belonging to the U.S., France, and Britain also escalated diplomatic tensions with Russian Federation and Iran, Assad's largest allies, which later lashed out against what they deemed as unnecessary military aggression.

"This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very bad regime", Trump said on Friday.

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The President said the US strikes on Syria, were launched in concert with British, French allies.

Trump said that he made a decision to take action because last weekend's action by Bashar Al-Assad "was a significant attack against his own people", and "not the actions of a man, they are crimes of a monster instead".

Several explosions were heard in the capital of Damascus.

The ambassador urged Britain, France and the United States "not to bring the world to such a unsafe threshold".

Three confirmed targets were struck: a scientific research centre near Damascus, a chemical weapons storage facility west of Homs and a chemical weapons facility serving as a command post. Trump said in a morning tweet.

Macron said: "We can not tolerate the employment of chemical weapons".

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The MoD says the military action was "proportionate" and "specifically aimed at degrading the Assad regime's ability to use chemical weapons and deterring further such appalling acts".

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Australia supported the strikes, which demonstrated a "calibrated, proportionate and targeted response".

Later in the day, after Trump had met with his national security team, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, "we are continuing to assess intelligence and are engaged in conversations with our partners and allies".

Although Russia warned of a conflict with the USA, it has also called on all parties involved in Syria to refrain from actions that could destabilize the region.

In his tweet about timing, Trump also claimed success in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria and elsewhere, but said he was not getting enough credit.

Reuters quoted a USA official as saying the strikes were aimed at multiple targets and involved Tomahawk missiles. In Damascus believe that the us military would not risk to attack the Russian base.

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"What's unsafe is that the West, already waging a war against non-state actors in Syria, is risking an escalation toward global conflict in order to potentially get back to the negotiating table" for ending the seven-year civil war, she said. But on a strategic level, the question "is how do we keep this from escalating out of control".

Western strikes hit bases, chemical research centres around Damascus: monitor