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European leaders back Syria strikes, warn against escalation

15 April 2018

Compared to strikes that President Donald Trump launched against a Syrian air base after a previous chemical weapons attack on civilians almost one year ago, last night's action was "more robust in terms of military action" because it was an allied, as opposed to unilateral, strike that targeted alleged chemical weapons infrastructure and is meant to be part of a sustained effort, an administration official said.

Haley blasted Russian Federation for protecting Syria and said that Moscow has emboldened Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government to continue its attacks.

Gen. Kenneth McKenzie said the operation would "set the Syrian chemical-weapons program back by years".

The Pentagon said more than 40 Syrian surface-to-air missiles had "no material effect" on the allied strikes, which McKenzie said hit their targets.

Russian Federation said it was being "threatened" and said the air strikes "will not be left without consequences" in a statement from its ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, posted on Twitter.

The second target was a chemical weapons storage facility west of the city of Homs.

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Anatoly Antonov, the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. , says the military action threatens Russia - and there will be consequences. Sergei Lavrov said the attack was staged as part of a "Russo-phobic campaign" led by one country, which he did not name.

This time, the Pentagon says that its actions were an allied response that struck a blow to the infrastructure of Assad's chemical weapons program itself.

Russian Federation in November used its veto three times to bury a previous UN-led inquiry which found that Syrian forces had used sarin in the attack on Khan Sheikhun in April a year ago.

British Prime Minister Theresa May described the strike as "limited and targeted", with no intention of toppling Assad or intervening more widely in the war.

Jawad Abu Hamzah, a journalist working with Al Jazeera in Nawa area in southern Syria, echoes Al Siofi's criticism. The NATO alliance gave its full backing; NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in Brussels that the attack was about ensuring that chemical weapons can not be used with impunity.

"It breaks my heart to see kids being washed by water after use of chemical weapons".

Just weeks ago, Trump said he wanted to end USA involvement in Syria and bring American troops home to focus on the homeland.

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Senior Russian figures have warned that missiles threatening the country's forces in Syria will be shot down and their launch sites targeted.

In Douma, site of the suspected gas attack, the last buses were due on Saturday to transport out rebels and their families who agreed to surrender the town, state TV reported.

"The Syrian response was remarkably ineffective", McKenzie said. Under the agreement, it was agreed that the estimate was "1,000 tons of chemical weapons, including the blister agent, Sulphur mustard, and sarin nerve agent".

Worldwide investigators from the global chemical weapons watchdog arrived in Syria to start their inquiry on Saturday into the suspected toxic gas attack. "Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military", Trump wrote.

Donald Trump hailed the strikes carried out against Syria by the US, UK and France as "perfectly executed" on Saturday, adding: "Could not have had a better result". The U.S. ambassador in Moscow, John Huntsman, said in a video, "Before we took action, the United States communicated with" Russia to "reduce the danger of any Russian or civilian casualties".

The text calls for a ceasefire resolution adopted in February but which never materialised to finally take hold and "demands" that President Bashar al-Assad's government engage in peace talks "in good faith, constructively and without preconditions".

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"America does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria under no circumstances", Mr. Trump said Friday night. "But it is equally important for us to be aware of the distraction tactics that some of the actors in the world are using today and to not allow those tactics to work". "They just determine the substance", Ms Nauert added.

European leaders back Syria strikes, warn against escalation