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Reaction in France Mixed Toward Allied Syrian Airstrikes

Reaction in France Mixed Toward Allied Syrian Airstrikes”

Trump, while addressing the nation on Friday night, said the joint strike with France and the United Kingdom was now underway.

No military measures were immediately announced, but in a clear warning to the USA and its allies, Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi of the Russian military's General Staff said Moscow could boost Syria's Soviet-era air defense assets with batteries of state-of-the-art S-300 missiles. Russia's military said Syrian air defense units downed 71 out of 103 cruise missiles fired by the allies. The Syrian army said that more than 70 missiles of the 105 fired at its structures were intercepted by its air defenses.

Characterizing the strike as a success, McKenzie says, "As of right now we're not aware of any civilian casualties". "We were scared of a bigger assault that could be devastating, but we are happy it was limited and less powerful", said Mayda Kumejian, a Damascus resident contacted by telephone.

Speaking from the White House Friday night, President Donald Trump said the U.S. was "prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents".

"Last night, operations were very successful", Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said at a briefing Saturday morning.

Mattis disclosed that the United States had not yet confirmed that the Douma attack - the most recent suspected Syrian chemical weapons attack, on April 7 - included the use of sarin gas.

Evidence that the nerve agent sarin also was used is inconclusive, he said. But, she said, "We can not allow such grievous violations of global law".

The massive one-off allied air strike was aimed at degrading the Syrian regime's chemical weapons arsenal while simultaneously avoiding collateral damage to civilians as well as Russian and Iranian forces that are also operating inside Syria.

Russian Federation is expected to call an emergency session of UN Security Council to discuss the strikes on Syria at 11A.M. EST. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, said that images of victims of the purported attack were fakes staged with "Britain's direct involvement", without providing evidence.

Defence experts broadly agree the US -led strikes were important for showing American resolve. Apparently left untouched, however, were delivery mechanisms for those chemical weapons, which might include conventional weapons such as rockets, missiles, artillery shells and helicopters.

Russian Federation also said there were no immediate reports of military or civilian casualties. "Its position in the Syrian conflict remains strong and the focus of the response to the US -led strikes will be on regaining control of additional territories in the country".

Ankara hailed the move before accusing the Syrian regime of "crimes against humanity".

British leader May said in London that the West had tried "every possible" diplomatic means to stop Assad from using chemical weapons. "When our president draws a red line, our president enforces the red line".

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. He said at least one chemical was used - chlorine, which also has legitimate industrial uses and had not previously triggered a USA military response.

Trump said that the United States had to act because Washington needed to establish a deterrent against the use of chemical weapons.

The strikes specifically targeted Assad for killing dozens of civilians in an April 7 strike in Douma, Syria. Syrian rescuers and medics said the attack on Douma killed at least 40 people.

The Syrian government, which denies the chemical attack, said the strikes were "brutal, barbaric aggression" by western powers and vowed to continue to "restore security and stability in all corners of the country". The alleged attack in Douma occurred Saturday night amid a resumed offensive by Syrian government forces after the collapse of a truce.

Even so, the conflicting descriptions of the plan by Mattis and Trump point to another concern: that there may not be any long-term strategy for Syria.

The United States, Britain and France launched strikes against the Syrian regime in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack after mulling military action for almost a week.

"Good souls will not be humiliated", Assad tweeted, while hundreds of Syrians gathered in Damascus, the capital, where they flashed victory signs and waved flags in scenes of defiance after the one-hour barrage. Some clapped their hands and danced, others drove in convoys, honking their horns.

"We are your men, Bashar", they shouted, according to the Associated Press.

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.



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