Russian envoy warns of 'consequences' after US-led strikes on Syria
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 14, 2018,
Apr 14, 2018, 11:50
A picture taken on April 8, 2018, shows smoke billowing as Syrian Army soldiers advance in agricultural land on the eastern outskirts of Douma, as they continue their fierce offensive to retake the last opposition holdout in Eastern Ghouta.
AFP´s correspondent in Damascus said several consecutive blasts were heard at 4:00 am local time (0100 GMT), followed by the sound of airplanes overhead.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says he is "absolutely confident" that Syrian President Bashar Assad is behind the alleged chemical attack on his people that the USA and allies retaliated against Friday night.
He said the military strikes were targeting "major chemical weapons facilities in Syria".
"Right now this is a one-time shot and I believe it has sent a very strong message to dissuade him to deter him from doing it again", he said. Gen Dunford confirmed the wave of strikes had ended. "We did not coordinate targets".
Part of the calculation this week has also been gaming out how Russian Federation will respond.
"Russia is the wild card out there", Pollack said, because President Vladimir Putin's interests are bigger than Syria.
Mattis added that there were no reports of losses on the part of the US, UK and France, and that no additional strikes were planned.
The strikes, more limited than once seemed likely, were created to deter the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons once and for all.
HASC Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, was more moderate, acknowledging that "tough questions about the future of our policy in Syria remain", but added "those questions should not detract from the justness of tonight's actions". He called on Moscow to change course and join the West in seeking a more responsible regime in Damascus. This time, will it be any different?
President Donald Trump is warning Russian Federation and Iran about their association with Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad's government, as he announces the launch of retaliatory strikes after an apparent chemical weapons attack last week.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has dispatched a fact-finding mission to the site of the alleged attack in Syria.
The investigators, who are only mandated to determine if chemical weapons were used and not who used them, were expected to start their investigations into the Douma incident on Saturday, the Netherlands-based organization said.
The Trump administration allowed Turkey to take over a Kurdish enclave in northwestern Syria earlier this year, and Trump spoke of fully withdrawing the thousands of Americans now stationed in Kurd-controlled regions.
United States aircraft including B-1 bombers and ships were used in the attack, according to multiple U.S. defense officials.
"The combined American, British and French response to these atrocities will integrate all instruments of our national power: military, economic and diplomatic", Trump said. Some 58 missiles hit the aircraft and chemical weapons facilities at the base.
"One Damascus resident told BBC News: "It was mayhem above us".
More than 80 people were killed, and images of adults gasping for air and babies on respirators drew world outrage.
"What has the reaction been?"
British forces used four RAF Tornado GR4s, which launched Storm Shadow missiles at a regime chemical weapons facility, according to the British Ministry of Defense.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also expressed his nation's support.
As questions swirled this week around how Trump would respond to the attack, so did continued uncertainty about updates to Congress' Authorizations for Use of Military Force.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, warned UN members of their responsibilities.
The United States of America - a nation $21 trillion in debt and facing no discernible national security threat - nevertheless launched an attack on Syria late Friday.