President Trump orders strikes in Syria

President Trump orders strikes in Syria Izvor: REUTERS

The US, UK and France launched coordinated airstrikes against targets at three sites in Syria on Saturday morning, CNN reported.

The airstrikes came after a week of threats of retaliation for a chemical weapons attack on civilians in a Damascus enclave of Douma allegedly committed by the Syrian government.

 “I ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapon capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad,” said the US President Trump late on Friday. 

The Syrian Armed Forces said that 110 missiles were fired on Syrian targets, and that the country’s defence systems “intercepted most of the missiles, but some hit targets including the Research Centre in Barzeh.”

US Defence Secretary James Mattis, asked how the US could assure that the strikes would work to prevent the Assad regime from using chemical weapons again, replied by saying that “nothing is certain.” But this time, he added, the US used double the amount of weapons the military had used in last year’s missile strikes in Syria.

Asked if the US and its allies planned to continue their military operations beyond these airstrikes, Mattis replied “it all depends on Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad”.

Russian ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov issued a statement on Facebook in response to the strikes on Syria, accusing the West of carrying out a “pre-designed scenario.” He said there would be “consequences” and that the responsibility lies with Washington, London and Paris.

“Insulting the President of Russia is unacceptable and inadmissible,” Antonov added.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, said the US “specifically identified” targets to “mitigate the risk of Russian forces being involved.”

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that she had “authorised British armed forces to conduct coordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons capability and deter their use.”

French President Emmanuel Macron also issued a statement following the airstrikes in Syria, saying that “the red line set by France in May 2017 has been crossed”.

“So, I ordered the French armed forces to intervene tonight as part of an international operation in coalition with the USA and the UK, and directed against the clandestine chemical arsenal of the Syrian regime,” Macron said.

“Insulting the President of Russia is unacceptable and inadmissible,” Antonov added.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, said the US “specifically identified” targets to “mitigate the risk of Russian forces being involved.”

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that she had “authorised British armed forces to conduct coordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons capability and deter their use.”

French President Emmanuel Macron also issued a statement following the airstrikes in Syria, saying that “the red line set by France in May 2017 has been crossed”.

“So, I ordered the French armed forces to intervene tonight as part of an international operation in coalition with the USA and the UK, and directed against the clandestine chemical arsenal of the Syrian regime,” Macron said.

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