Trump bravado gives way to solemn speech on Syria airstrikes

14 2018 on the website of the official Syrian Arab News Agency shows an explosion on the outskirts of Damascus after US-led strikes on Syrian military bases and chemical research centres in and around the capital (AFP

Trump bravado gives way to solemn speech on Syria airstrikes

Moscow said none of the missiles hit its Hmeimim airbase or its naval facility at Tartus adding that it did not activate its own sophisticated air defence systems.

With more than 100 missiles fired from ships and manned aircraft, the allies struck three of Syria's main chemical weapons facilities, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford said.

Arizona Rep. Kirsten Sinema, a Phoenix Democrat who's running for the Senate said: "The use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians is despicable and must be condemned by every nation".

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

Iranian state TV is reporting the country's Foreign Ministry has strongly condemned the USA -led airstrikes on Syria.

The strikes risked raising tensions in an already combustible region but appeared designed not to trigger a military response from Russian Federation and Iran.

Speaking today she also hit out at Russian Federation for vetoing United Nations attempts to take action against the Syrian regime, even vetoing an independent investigation on the attack in Douma. Again, the idea was to show Assad that the United States would not tolerate such actions and thus deter him from ever doing so again.

- In response, the Russian embassy in the USA said it had warned that such actions would "not be left without consequences", adding that insulting President Vladimir Putin was "unacceptable and inadmissible".

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the attack was a crime and would not achieve any gains. The allies remained in close consultation, he said.

It said the attack was a flagrant violation of global rules and regulations and ignores Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity. "This is the first time as prime minister that I have had to take the decision to commit our armed forces in combat - and it is not a decision I have taken lightly", she said.

Mrs May said chemical weapons had "all too often" been used in recent times.

The wave of strikes is the most significant attack against President Bashar al-Assad's government by western powers in seven years of Syria's civil war.

Syrians wave the national flag and portraits of President Bashar al Assad as they gather at Umayyad Square in Damascus

He said that the objective of the action was "to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread, and use of chemical weapons".

- The only retaliatory action was some Syrian surface-to-air missile activity, the United States said.

She called the action a "limited and targeted strike that does not further escalate tensions in the region" that will "send a clear signal to anyone else who believes they can use chemical weapons with impunity".

The Tomahawk is carried by the dozens by U.S. and British warships, including cruisers, destroyers and submarines.

According to the Russian military spokesman the situation in Damascus and other cities in Syria is now calm.

A second witness said the Barzah district of Damascus had been hit in the strikes. Britain's defence ministry said "very careful scientific analysis" had been applied to maximise the destruction of stockpiled chemicals while minimising any risk of contamination to surrounding areas.

Trump has said he will hold the Syrian government, as well as its Russian and Iranian allies, accountable for the suspected attack.

PARIS, April 14 (Reuters) - France said on Saturday it would not hesitate to strike Syrian government targets again if the chemical red line was crossed, but that no new strikes were planned at this stage, adding that it would renew a push for peace through dialogue with Russian Federation.

Russia's Defense Ministry said out of the 103 missiles fired, 71 were downed - with Syrian air defense systems intercepting most rockets fired. "This will reduce the regime's ability to further attack the people of Syria with chemical weapons", he said.

Witnesses on the ground in Damascus reported hearing explosions in the Syrian capital, where more than a million people live.

The U.S. has about 2,000 troops on the ground in Syria as advisers to a makeshift group of anti-Islamic State fighters known as the Syrian Democratic Forces.

Reacting to the strikes, Russian foreign ministry spokeswomen Maria Zakharavoa, in a statement on facebook, said the United States struck when the country finally had a chance at peace.

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