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Trump informs Congress of reasons for strike against Assad regime in Syria

17 April 2018

"Vladimir Putin, in particular, stressed that if such actions were committed in violation of the United Nations charter continue, then it will inevitably lead to chaos in worldwide relations", the statement said.

The US, France and Britain launched 105 missiles against Syria on Saturday, targeting three sites they said were linked to a chemical weapons programme.

As the diplomatic fallout of Saturday's airstrikes continued, the United Kingdom on Monday accused Russian Federation and Syria of blocking experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) from accessing Douma, the site of the suspected gas attack. Three civilians were injured in the attack.

Trump was responding to alleged chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian government on its own people in Douma.

The bombings marked the biggest intervention by Western countries against Assad and ally Russian Federation.

Trump's letter to congressional leaders cited the rationale he gave publicly Friday night when he announced that the US and allies Britain and France were firing missiles into Syria in response to an alleged poison gas attack on the moderate opposition near Damascus the previous week.

But Twitter reality is far different from the reality on the ground in Syria, where many indicators point to the fact that the strikes did not cripple the Syrian government's capabilities, nor did it affect Assad's morale.

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I mean Donald Trump's polling numbers are sinking, and he is under pressure from the independent investigator into his affairs. The comments came as Russian Federation vetoed a United States resolution to create a new body to investigate the attack.

The West has accused Syria of failing to live up to its commitment to scrap its chemical weapons programme under a deal reached between the United States and Russian Federation.

The White House pushed back against Macron's comments about Trump's intentions for USA forces.

The U.S. has raised the prospect of more sanctions against Russian Federation.

"It's not moving near as fast as any of us want it to move, but this is a political process that needs to happen", she said. "That's how it's perceived in the region, and it's not doing us any good".

"It is the lack of approval by the U.N. Department for Safety and Security for OPCW experts to visit the site in Douma that is the problem", Ryabkov told reporters, adding that he checked just a short while ago what was delaying their visit.

The US launched military strikes on Friday night, alongside United Kingdom and French forces, aimed at reducing the Syrian regime's chemical weapons facilities. The inspectors were due to attempt to visit the Douma site.

Russia is also challenging an OPCW finding that a nerve agent was found in an attack in Salisbury on the Russian double agent Sergei Skripal.

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His comments at the closed-door meeting were obtained by Reuters.

The OPCW, an independent global body, is now in Damascus on a mission to establish what happened in Douma after reports emerged from the area on April 7 of people killed and injured by toxic chemicals during shelling by the Assad regime's forces.

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie denied reports that Syrian air defence systems had take down 71 of the missiles launched and said that all 105 had reached their targets.

The US-led strikes did nothing to alter the strategic balance or dent Mr Assad's supremacy and the Western allies have said the aim was to prevent the further use of chemical weapons, not to intervene in the civil war or topple Mr Assad. "And now we see, who is really backward", Assad was quoted as saying by a Russian MP refering to his military's ability top down most of the missiles. If there is a future chemical attack, either by Mr. Assad or by his rivals, the USA will be forced to act again, perhaps more harshly.

Ahmad, a 25-year-old mechanic who had been displaced from Douma, said the Western strikes were nevertheless too little, too late. That suggests that despite Russia's warnings of dire consequences, it appears Russian commanders are being extremely careful not to respond in a way that could escalate tensions with the U.S. into a shooting war.

The OPCW declared that the Syrian government's chemical weapons stockpile had been removed in 2014, only to confirm later that sarin was used in a 2017 attack in the northern town of Khan Sheikhun.

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Trump informs Congress of reasons for strike against Assad regime in Syria