Syria: UN Security Council meets over US-led air strikes

Syria: UN Security Council meets over US-led air strikes

Freeland made the comments on the sidelines of a major worldwide summit in Lima, Peru, which U.S. President Donald Trump skipped last minute to deal with the recent chemical-weapons attack in Syria, which culminated in the launch of U.S., British and French strikes against Syrian targets on Friday night.

The Kremlin is also busy with a Big Lie effort to deny that Assad used chems against the rebels, sometimes insisting the attack was faked, sometimes blaming the White Helmets, a Free Syrian relief group and sometimes fingering the Brits - whom it has also blamed for last month's Russian chemical-weapon assassination attempt on United Kingdom soil.

The Pentagon said it knew of no civilian casualties "at this time".

Most of the Syrian countermeasures, including defensive ballistic missiles, were fired after US and allied weapons hit their targets, Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie told reporters on Saturday.

The Pentagon said more than 40 Syrian surface-to-air missiles had "no material effect" on the allied strikes, which McKenzie said hit their targets.

"However, McKenzie acknowledged elements of Syria's chemical weapons programme remain and he could not guarantee that Syria would be unable to conduct a chemical attack in the future". The third target was a chemical weapons equipment storage facility and an important command post, also west of Homs, Dunford said.

In April, 2017, Trump authorized a missile strike on a Syrian air force base in response to another chemical attack.

Around 30 missiles were fired in the attack, and a third of them were shot down, the official said. We hit the sites, the heart of the chemical weapons program.

In a televised address to the nation, US President Donald Trump said the three nations had "marshalled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality". The response was an attempt to weaken Assad's capabilities, and make the prohibition of chemical weapons clear. The participation of British and French forces enables Trump to assert a wider worldwide commitment against the use of chemical weapons, but the multi-pronged attack carries the risk of Russian retaliation.

Hours before Trump's announcement on Friday, 88 Republican and Democratic members of Congress signed a letter imploring the president to consult Congress prior to engaging U.S. armed forces.

Syrian air defenses, however, responded firmly, shooting down most of the missiles fired at the country.

The 15-member council met on Saturday, at Russia's request - the fifth time it has met on Syria since a suspected deadly poison gas attack in the Syrian town of Douma a week ago. "So there is no practicable alternative to the use of force to degrade and deter the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime", May said.

McKenzie described one site, the Barzah Research and Development Center, near Damascus, as a "core" facility for Syria's chemical-weapons program.

The use of chemical arms "added to that brutality" of the Assad regime's war to regain control of Syria, and "could not go without a response", a senior United States official told reporters on Saturday.

"Surely, 100 percent, they'll not find anything", Fayez said.

"The goal of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread, and use of chemical weapons", Mr. Trump said Friday night.

He accused the United States, Britain and France of being "imperialist" empires that "consider themselves superior to the rest of the world". "There's no point in keeping a dictator killing his own people for seven years, forcibly displacing them, demographically changing the country, creating the worst refugee crisis since World War II".

"America does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria under no circumstances", Mr. Trump said Friday night. At that time, former U.S. president Barack Obama declined to strike at Assad militarily in the aftermath of a sarin attack that killed hundreds of children, in exchange for removal of his chemical weapons stockpiles, and for access for the UN's Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to monitor their destruction.

Hundreds of Syrians poured into the streets of Damascus on Saturday, dancing and chanting in defiance of what they called the West's failure to shake their nation's resolve with airstrikes that jolted the capital only hours earlier. The Russian ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, condemned the airstrikes and warned that "such actions will not be left without consequences".

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