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Syria struck, Trump exults

16 April 2018

The United States, Britain and France have all participated in the Syrian conflict for years, arming rebels, bombing Islamic State fighters and deploying troops on the ground to fight that group.

In May 2003, President George W Bush stood on an aircraft carrier under a giant "Mission Accomplished" banner and declared that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended" - just six weeks after the invasion.

Trump said he had ordered U.S. forces to launch precision strikes "on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad".

"When our president draws a red line, our president enforces the red line", Haley stressed.

A total of 22 missiles from France, the United Kingdom and the United States hit this site, including eight British Storm Shadow missiles and nine American Tomahawk missiles. He acknowledged, however, that Syria retains "residual" capacity, but gave no details about what could be left.

"It has always been Bulgaria's position that no cause justifies the killing of innocent people, including children; that the use of chemical weapons is a war crime and the strike on Syrian targets was a response to a war crime".

"To succeed in the long run, we need a comprehensive strategy for Syria and the entire region", Republican Senator John McCain said in a statement after the latest strikes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the strikes would have "a destructive effect on the entire system of worldwide relations".

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Asked about potential consequences that countries like Iran and Russia face for backing Assad, Haley said that further sanctions against the Russian government are in the works.

An agreement for the Jaish al-Islam rebels who once controlled Douma has seen thousands of people - rebels and civilians - bussed up to a rebel-held area of the northern province of Aleppo.

On Saturday, she hinted the United States would strike again if Assad used chlorine, but stopped short of specifying which chemical agent she was referring to.

The warning came after the US, UK and France struck three Syrian sites in response to a suspected deadly chemical attack in the town of Douma a week ago.

Washington, Paris and London have nevertheless insisted that their own secret intelligence points to Assad's guilt, and on Friday, a United States spokeswoman said they had "proof".

Still, "this was not geared towards weakening Assad's conventional military capabilities", said Kamran Bokhari, a senior fellow with the Center for Global Policy in Washington.

Russia said none of the more than 100 cruise missiles fired early on Saturday entered airspace covered by Russian air defense systems, easing worries of an escalation into wider conflict.

A Syrian military officer records a video inside the destroyed Scientific Research Center in Damascus, Syria, April 14, 2018.

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"They will lose years of research and development data, specialized equipment, and expensive chemical weapons precursors. They lost a lot of material, and that's going to have a significant effect", he said.

Seated alongside Trudeau, Pence said there was a "real possibility" the US could reach a deal with Canada and Mexico on NAFTA "within the next several weeks".

More than 1,700 civilians were killed in a Russia-backed regime assault on Eastern Ghouta since mid-February.

A day after the bombardment, Assad appeared briefly on state TV and told a group of visiting Russian lawmakers that the USA and its allies were spreading "lies and misinformation" against Syria. US officials said no one was hurt there.

An official says in a statement on Saturday that President Donald Trump made clear previous year that the use of chemical weapons was a red line not to be crossed.

"If there were chemical weapons in the building, we would not be here".

The Western intelligence report, according to the BBC, found that the Barzah facility specialised in installing chemical weapons on long-range missiles and artillery.

"I think (the relationship) has been changing over time", she said. On this target, 76 missiles - 57 U.S. Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs) and 19 joint air-to-surface missiles - were used in the strikes.

Led coalition fired over 100 missiles, says Russian Federation
She added that such unilateral military action bypassing the United Nations Security Council will complicate the Syrian conflict. They said that there had been a "full week of consultations" with White House national security team members and allied nations.

Syria struck, Trump exults