Russian drone may have turned camera off, right before Syrian attack
- Author: Zachary Reyes Apr 09, 2017,
Apr 09, 2017, 20:53
The decision to strike in Syria marked a stark reversal for Trump, who during his presidential campaign faulted past US leaders for getting embroiled in conflicts in the Middle East.
Trump spoke by telephone Friday with Saudi Arabia's King Salman, who reaffirmed strong support for the military strike and thanked the USA president for his "courageous" action, according to statements issued Saturday by the White House and the official Saudi Press Agency.
Russian Federation maintains a close political and military alliance with the Assad Government and has been accused of supporting its attacks against Syrians opposed to his rule - something Moscow adamantly denies.
Just last week, in a natural extension of that posture, Haley and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said America was no longer interested in removing Assad.
Although it is unclear whether Jakarta will bring the Syrian issue to the table during Pence's visit - which was scheduled weeks before the attack - speculation is growing that the U.S. and Indonesia might also discuss security issues and possibly terrorism.
Syrian forces launched further airstrikes on Saturday that killed 18 people including five children in rebel-controlled Idlib province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the civil defense rescue service reported.
Rights monitors warned, however, that Syrian jets were already flying sorties from the base again as night fell yesterday.
But the single volley of Tomahawk missiles was of such limited scope that it will reinforce the view held by Damascus and its allies that the United States is no more eager than before to take the sort of strong action needed to defeat him.
Jakarta said on Friday that the air strike contravened global legal principles for the peaceful settlement of disputes as stipulated in the UN Charter, arguing it had not obtained the authorization of the UN Security Council.
"I directed this action in order to degrade the Syrian military's ability to conduct further chemical weapons attacks and to dissuade the Syrian regime from using or proliferating chemical weapons, thereby promoting the stability of the region and averting a worsening of the region's current humanitarian catastrophe". "Those days are over".
Ahead of his election victory, Trump had attacked Obama's approach in ways that appeared to suggest he would back off of calls to remove Assad.
Tillerson will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow later this week. "I think they felt that they could certainly get away with it - if in fact Assad did order this - because Idlib is controlled by al Qaeda affiliates, and the Russians are striking there, and the USA has also struck there", said Lesch.
"I find it very disappointing but - sadly, I have to tell you - not all that surprising".
"This man who is now in office in America claimed that he wanted to fight terrorism but today all terrorists in Syria are celebrating the USA attack", he said.
"The only thing we are shaking up is the way Washington operates as we push the president's aggressive agenda forward", she said. "I don't think there is a strategic shift".
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged restraint and a renewed push for peace in Syria, saying "there is no other way to solve the conflict than through a political solution". The Sunni rulers of Saudi Arabia are in a power struggle for regional dominance with Iran's Shiite government and view Tehran's support of Assad as a threat to the region.
"In the wake of the USA air strikes, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, "Mindful of the risk of escalation, I appeal for restraint to avoid any acts that could deepen the suffering of the Syrian people". The Rancho Peñasquitos resident called Trump's missile strike "smart" because he targeted a military base and avoided places where civilians might be hurt.
"We are waiting for the American administration to reveal its complete vision for the Syrian file", said prominent opposition politician George Sabra.
"The US attempted to justify its aggression with fabricated arguments that Syria had used chemical weapons in Khan Shaykhun - the same justification advanced by terrorist groups and the countries supporting them", he said.