Sunday, 19 August, 2018


United States 'locked and loaded' if Syria uses toxic gas again

Austria's Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Austria's Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
Bennie Garza | 15 April, 2018, 09:51

In his televised address from the White House on Friday evening, Mr Trump said the USA was prepared to sustain economic, diplomatic and military pressure on Mr Assad until the Syrian leader ends what the U.S. president called a criminal pattern of killing his own people with internationally banned chemical weapons.

The military officials said they were confident that Syrian government installations that produced chlorine gas and sarin, a nerve agent, were destroyed or damaged.

Trump launched a military strike against the Syrian regime almost one year ago targeting a government airbase also in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed civilians.

Syrian state media called the attacks a "flagrant violation of global law".

"A perfectly executed strike", Mr Trump tweeted after US, French and British warplanes and ships launched more than 100 missiles almost unopposed by Syrian air defences.

Russian Federation said that the damage had been minimal, and that most of the more than 100 missiles fired were intercepted.

The Pentagon assessed that nerve agents were present in the Barzah research center and that the Syrian regime employed about 40 surface-to-air missiles, but those launches occurred after the last impact of the United States and its allies' strike.

Syrian air defense units shot down 71 out of 103 cruise missiles launched by the U.S., Britain and France, the Russian military claimed Saturday.

A day later, the rebels in the town surrendered, making the use of chemical weapons in this instance, if confirmed, an example of the successful tactical use of poison gas, Azm said.

"A perfectly executed strike last night", Trump tweeted Saturday. "Get ready Russian Federation, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!"' An already difficult battle plan - which required hitting Assad without provoking Russian reprisals or injecting the USA further into Syria's seven-year civil war - was getting harder. Nine SCALP missiles were fired at what the Pentagon said was a chemical weapons storage complex at Hims-Shinshar, along with two SCALPS, nine Tomahawks and eight Storm Shadows.

In Damascus, residents jolted awake by explosions at 4 a.m. expressed relief that the attack was short-lived.

"I got out from Douma after the last chemical attack and until today I am suffering from the effects of inhaling the poisonous gas". And I'm very happy to show evidence if I can.

Haley said the airstrikes did not change US strategy in Syria. "They are fighting on so many fronts", Salamay said.

Moving to return to diplomacy, France said it was working with the United States and Britain on a draft resolution that would address chemical weapons use, the humanitarian crisis, and the future of the peace process in Syria.

As images of sick or dying children flooded global media all week, the USA guided-missile destroyer USS Winston Churchill was en route to the Mediterranean to join a flotilla of allied warships, including another US destroyer, the USS Donald Cook.

The US is "locked and loaded" for further strikes against Bashar al-Assad, Donald Trump said last night, as military chiefs acknowledged that the Syrian dictator retained an ability to carry out chemical attacks on his people. Analysts and diplomats said the strike was unlikely to shake Assad's hold on power or change the trajectory of the conflict.

"Assad has absorbed worse before, and he will absorb this", he said.

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