US, allies attacking Syria to stop chemical weapons

14 April, 2018, 22:16 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Gen. Dunford on Syria Airstrikes: We Did Not Coordinate With Russians or Pre-Notify Them

Roughly an hour after the announcement, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and General Joseph Dunford conducted a press conference at the Pentagon to detail the military strike against multiple chemical weapon sites in Damascus, Syria.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime is suspected of carrying out a chemical attack on his own people.

"The United States has a vital interest to defend our interests and in specifically deterring the use and proliferation of chemical weapons", Mattis said in a news conference after the strikes were completed. They blame Damascus for the alleged chemical attack on the town of Douma in the devastated Eastern Ghouta suburb of the capital.

Mattis is asking that "accountable nations" participate condemning the Assad regime. "They will lose years of research and development data, specialized equipment, and expensive chemical weapons precursors", he said.

"We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents", Trump said.

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At the same time, he said, the US had no intention to expand the strike further than chemical weapons-type targets.

"Never said when an attack on Syria would take place".

Syrian state TV said air defenses were confronting the attack and had shot down 13 missiles in the Kiswah area south of Damascus.

At the United Nations, Syrian U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari told reporters that two teams of investigators from the global chemical weapons watchdog are due to arrive in Syria on Thursday and Friday to look into the Douma incident.

Speaking from the White House, Trump says, "To Iran and to Russian Federation, I ask: What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?" "We're looking very, very seriously, very closely at the whole situation", he told reporters. During the Pentagon briefing, it was revealed that three facilities had been targeted, all related to Syrian chemical storing, and scientific research facilities.

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Deconfliction was part of the U.S.'s efforts to avoid hitting Russian forces in Syria that could lead to a military conflict in Syria between the two nations.

The presence of Russian troops and air defenses in Syria were among numerous complications weighing on Trump, who must also consider the dangers to roughly 2,000 American troops in the country if Russia were to retaliate for USA strikes.

"The strike was not only a strong message that their actions were inexcusable, but it has inflicted damage without unnecessary risk to innocent civilians", he added.

"The strike has been what many people here are bracing for", Doane said. "But on a strategic level, it's how do we keep this from escalating out of control - if you get my drift on that", Mattis said.

The Russian Defence Ministry said there was "no evidence" of civilian or military casualties from the airstrikes. Dunford said that the strikes had destroyed "important infrastructure" as well as "years of research" on chemistry.

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"Until we have a more long-term strategy, until we have some idea where we're going in Syria and the Middle East, it seems unwise, to me, to start launching missiles", said Smith.

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