USA hits Syrian airbase, Russian Federation fumes

"People are anxious that [the attack is] just to make some media noise", he said, "that this was a one-time USA strike on the Shayrat airport, that they won't strike again, and the reckoning has ended".

The Pentagon is looking for any evidence that the Russian government knew about or was complicit in the attack in Idlib province that killed at least 80 people and injured dozens more, a senior United States defense official said...

And an hour after that, the missiles hit their targets nearly simultaneously, destroying about 20 Syrian aircraft in hangars and on runways as well as petroleum storage at a base that the US says President Bashar al-Assad's regime had used to launch a deadly chemical attack against civilians on April 4.

Haley has emerged as a fierce defender of the USA missile strike in reaction to the Syrian chemical attack, and on Friday warned that the prepared to take further military action against Syria.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told an emergency meeting of the world body's Security Council that Washington had taken "a very measured step" but was ready to go further.

He said only a trained, well-equipped free Syrian army would prevail.

His team signalled Friday that the attack was intended as a one-time deterrence message to Assad, over chemical weapons in particular, rather than the beginning of a broad military campaign - but also left the door open for future strikes. Still, he said the strike on the base, Syria's second-largest, with a fleet of Sukhoi-22, Sukhoi-24 and MiG-23 warplanes, is more a moral blow than a military one.

But the American action drew a furious response from the Kremlin which condemned an "aggression against a sovereign state in violation of worldwide law".

"The Conservative Party of Canada strongly supports the efforts of the United States to prevent Syria's military from launching further chemical weapon attacks".

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been a staunch ally to Assad, and Russia became more involved on his behalf in 2015, tipping the scales in favor of Assad's government.

While the United Kingdom government was among those who commended the aggressive action by the U.S. against Syria, a former United Kingdom ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, has sharply criticized the move, questioning the mainstream narrative and warning of dire consequences for the Syrian people.

The administration continued to justify the strike using the type of altruistic reasoning he rejected as a candidate in favour of a hard-hearted policy of "America First".

Hussein said the imam's sermon focused more on the importance of education than on the US attack, and urged parents to home-school their children on the many days when airstrikes make going to class impossible, to prevent an ignorant next generation. The US strike in Syria, however, was a unilateral action that emphasised the UK's relative impotence - we were informed beforehand, but we were not invited to take part.

"If you were a jihadi, would you not be jubilant this morning?"

"As we see it, you have chosen a different path", Safronkov said.

Such "false-flag operations" have already been launched by militants as documented in the August report by the United Nations, he reminded, warning that "we're all being manipulated by the jihadis and their backers". Remember the "dodgy dossier"?

Assad's willingness to use weapons of mass destruction on his own people is well-documented and indisputable. That he had sarin, indeed?

In an effort to understand the impact of this strike, As It Happens host Carol Off on Friday spoke with an MP in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government, a representative of the Syrian opposition, and a former US deputy secretary of state under Obama. "Only days after Trump put out an olive branch in their direction, is it credible at all that Assad would respond with a two-finger gesture?"

"It beggars belief. They had absolutely zero motive for doing it, and a hundred reasons not to it".

  • Carolyn Briggs