Navy Ships Fire Dozens of Cruise Missiles in Syria Chemical Weapons Attack

May & Trump agree it's 'vital to deter chemical weapon use by Assad' in Syria – UK

May & Trump agree it's 'vital to deter chemical weapon use by Assad' in Syria – UK

The U.S., Britain and France carried out airstrikes early Saturday against three sites in Syria in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack last week by President Bashar Assad's regime.

Speaking from the White House Friday night, President Donald Trump said the USA was "prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents". French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed France's involvement, saying that a "red line set by France in May 2017 has been crossed". And finally, it's unclear if the U.S. will bomb Syria again if Assad's forces use chemical weapons once more. According to the Pentagon, the strikes took out three chemical weapons sites considered to be central to the production of chemical weapons and the Trump administration has threatened further military action if chemical attacks on civilians persist.

"As Secretary Mattis said last night, the Russian disinformation campaign has already begun", Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a press conference. "We met our objectives".

US President Donald Trump appeared to surrender any hope of a working relationship with Moscow when he tweeted that "President (Vladimir) Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad" in a "MINDLESS chemical attack in Syria".

State-controlled Syrian TV said Syrian air defenses shot down 13 missiles fired in the attack.

Haley blasted Russia for protecting Syria and said Moscow has emboldened the Syrian regime to continue its attacks, while the Russian ambassador to the United Nations said Washington had embarked on an "illegal military adventure".

"For all the sound and fury of these strikes, their net effect is a slap on the wrist of Bashar al-Assad", said Nick Heras, an analyst at the Center for a New American Security.

He added that the U.S. had no option but to orchestrate such an "ineffective" attack, which he noted would fail to have any impact on the fight against terrorism in Syria.

"I ask what kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children", Trump said. He said Syria's air defenses were ineffective and that numerous more than 40 surface-to-air missiles fired by the Syrians were launched after the allied attack was over.

Despite severely damaging the infrastructure with the strikes, McKenzie said the Pentagon would not rule out that the Assad government still had capability to use such weapons again. Two U.S. planes from a base in Spain provided logistical support, the Spanish defense ministry said.

Assad's regime has been steadily expanding control over the country during the past couple years, relying heavily on Iranian-linked ground forces and Russian aircraft to regain territory from rebels.

The decision to strike, after days of deliberations, marked Trump's second order to attack Syria.

The U.S. missile strike a year ago, which targeted the airfield from which Syrian aircraft had launched their gas attack, was meant to deter Assad from further use of chemical weapons. Some of those more than 40 Syrian missile interceptors, he suggested, might have hit civilian targets. But the Pentagon said on Saturday that worry had been eased by the fact that there were no Russian casualties as a result of Friday's military campaign. Just weeks ago, Trump said he wanted to end US involvement in Syria and bring American troops home to focus on the homeland. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said there were no reports of USA losses in what he described as a heavy but carefully limited assault.

Putin responded to Saturday's attack by calling the strikes "an act of aggression against a sovereign state that is at the forefront of the fight against terrorism". Last year's strike involved 59 missiles.

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