Syrian Chemical Weapons Sites Before And After Missile Strikes
16 April, 2018, 11:56 | Author: Charlene Valdez
"I ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapon capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad", said President Donald Trump, in an address Friday night, on April 13.
Trump's use of that last phrase harks back to President George W. Bush's premature declaration of victory in Iraq, where USA troops remain 15 years after the initial US military engagement there - a mistake some critics say they fear Trump might repeat on Syria.
President Donald Trump has expressed his intention to pull all U.S. forces out of Syria in the near future. Defence secretary Gavin Wiliamson told BBC Radio 4: "Our service personnel have played an important role in terms of degrading the ability of the Syrian regime to use chemical weapons in the future, but also it sends a clear message to the Syrian regime that they can not continue to use chemical weapons with impunity".
"Assad knew that Russian Federation had its back, Assad knew that Russian Federation would cover for them at the United Nations, and Assad got reckless, and he used it in a way that was far more aggressive", she said.
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The statement also stressed that the "flames of such crime will engulf the perpetrators and supporters" of the attack on Syria. Russia, Syria's military backer, disagreed with that report, saying that Syrian air defense systems intercepted 71 out of 103 cruise missiles.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Israel's "full support" for Friday's US-led air strikes in Syria.The US, allied with France.
The Pentagon says they believe the airstrikes "attacked the heart of the Syrian chemical weapons program".
- The first was at a scientific research centre in greater Damascus involved in the development and production of chemical weapons, the second at a chemical weapons storage facility near Homs, and the third at a chemical equipment storage facility and important command post.
Inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are now in Damascus and are expected to visit Douma this weekend.
Syria and Russian Federation deny that any chemical attack occurred and say the incident was staged by foreign intelligence services so it could be used as a pretext for military action against Assad.
The Syrian government has to declare the entire stockpile of chemical weapons in order to resume the political dialogue in Geneva, US State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. "The United States of America will not allow the Assad regime to continue to use chemical weapons". "I think everyone knows that we sent a strong message, and our hope is that they listen to it", she told CBS News on Sunday.
A group of Russian politicians has met with Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose mood they describe as good a day after Western airstrikes.
Launched from warplanes and naval destroyers, the burst of missiles and bombs struck Syria shortly after 4 a.m. local time today. More than 100 missiles were fired in the capital city of Damascus by the United States and its allies- France and Britain.
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Syrian state TV said air defenses were confronting the attack and had shot down 13 missiles in the Kiswah area south of Damascus. They blame Damascus for the alleged chemical attack on the town of Douma in the devastated Eastern Ghouta suburb of the capital.
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