#Breaking: U.S, Britain and France Strike Syria Over Suspected Chemical Weapons Attack

The Sandman

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WASHINGTON — The United States and European allies launched airstrikes on Friday night against Syrian research, storage and military targets as President Trump sought to punish President Bashar al-Assad for a suspected chemical attack near Damascus last weekend that killed more than 40 people.

Britain and France joined the United States in the strikes in a coordinated operation that was intended to show Western resolve in the face of what the leaders of the three nations called persistent violations of international law. Mr. Trump characterized it as the beginning of a sustained effort to force Mr. Assad to stop using banned weapons, but only ordered a limited one-night operation that hit three targets.

“These are not the actions of a man,” Mr. Trump said of last weekend’s attack in a televised address from the White House Diplomatic Room. “They are crimes of a monster instead.”

While he has talked as recently as last week about pulling American troops out of Syria, the president vowed to remain committed to the goal of preventing further attacks with deadly poisons. “We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents,” Mr. Trump said.
[Read the full text of President Trump’s address »]

But Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who had urged caution in White House deliberations leading up to the strike, told reporters on Friday night that there were no more attacks planned unless Mr. Assad again uses gas on his own people.
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“We confined it to the chemical weapons-type targets,” Mr. Mattis said. “We were not out to expand this; we were very precise and proportionate. But at the same time, it was a heavy strike.”

The assault was twice the size and hit two more targets than a strike that Mr. Trump ordered last year against a Syrian military airfield. Launched from warplanes and naval destroyers, the burst of missiles and bombs struck Syria shortly after 4 a.m. local time on Saturday.

They hit three of Mr. Assad’s chemical weapons facilities: a scientific research center in greater Damascus that was used for research and production of weapons, and two chemical weapons facilities west of Homs — one of which was used for the production of the nerve agent sarin and the other was part of a military command post, said Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Residents of Damascus, the capital, woke to the sounds of multiple explosions shaking the city before the dawn call to prayer. The city and the hills are surrounded by military facilities, and it appeared that these were among the targets.

Syrian state television said government air defense systems were responding to “the American aggression” and aired video of missiles being fired into a dark night sky. It was not clear if they hit anything. It reported that 13 missiles had been shot down by Syrian air defenses near Al-Kiswa, a town south of Damascus. American officials said they could not yet confirm that.

The strikes risked pulling the United States deeper into the complex, multisided war in Syria from which Mr. Trump only last week said he wanted to withdraw. They also raised the possibility of confrontation with Russia and Iran, both of which have military forces in Syria to support Mr. Assad.
Mr. Trump called on Syria’s patrons in Russia and Iran to force Mr. Assad to halt the use of poison gas in the seven-year-old civil war that has wracked his country.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/13/world/middleeast/trump-strikes-syria-attack.html
 

Scorpion

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Trump has rubbed Assad, Iran and Russia faces in the ground. No retaliation whatsoever, not a single word either.
 

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Blast Rocks Syria Area Hosting Iran-Backed Fighters


Fars News Agency photo shows Iranian revolutionary guard forces during fighting in Aleppo, Syria. undated.


Beirut, Lebanon, April 14, 2018 (AFP) -
An explosion rocked an area in northern Syria Saturday near a base where pro-regime Iranian fighters and allied Shiite militias have been stationed, a monitor said.
The origin of the blast was not immediately clear and could have been caused by an air strike or an incident at an ammunition depot, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
"A powerful explosion went off late Saturday in an area of southern Aleppo province," the Britain-based monitoring group said. The war monitor's head, Rami Abdel Rahman, said the area was known to host Iranian forces deployed in Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad's regime as well as allied Afghan fighters from the Fatemiyoun Brigade.
Western powers carried out their biggest attack on Assad's regime before dawn on Saturday with strikes on targets they said were linked to Syria's chemical weapons program.
The Pentagon subsequently said no further strikes were planned as part of an operation launched a week after a suspected chemical attack on the holdout rebel town of Douma killed dozens of people.
Israel, which was not involved in Saturday's unprecedented wave of missile strikes but expressed full support, has unilaterally launched air raids on targets inside Syria on several occasions.
 
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