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Pentagon: 'Precise, Overwhelming, Effective' Attack on Syrian Facilities

Pentagon: 'Precise, Overwhelming, Effective' Attack on Syrian Facilities”

Syrian state media reported the joint operation and said there was preliminary information that a research centre northeast of the capital had been hit. Russian Federation threatened to shoot down any US missiles launched at targets in Syria.

Damascus skies erupt with anti-aircraft fire as the United States launches an attack on Syria targeting different parts of the Syrian capital Damascus, Syria, early Saturday, April 14, 2018.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the military action against Syria was "legally questionable" and makes real accountability for war crimes less likely.

"They're playing dirty", the official added.

Iran is the key backer alongside Russian Federation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, providing military advisors and "volunteer" ground forces.

The joint airstrikes came under the pretext of punishing the Syrian government for the alleged use of chemical weapons in an attack on the rebel-held town of Douma, east of Damascus on April 7. He said at least one chemical was used - chlorine, which also has legitimate industrial uses and had not previously triggered a USA military response.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called the military action of Western forces a crime.

Analysts said that the air strikes, which U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis called a "one-time shot" aimed at dissuading Assad from deploying chemical weapons, are unlikely to have inflicted significant damage on the Syrian president's military capabilities.

"We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents", President Trump said in announcing the strikes from the White House.

He highlighted his country's continued determination to fight terrorists across Syria.

"Syria also serves as a base to carry out such action, namely on behalf of Iran, endangering its territory, its forces and its leadership", the official added.

"Let us not forget that, ultimately, our efforts must be about ending the bad suffering of the Syrian people", he urged the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain. Many waved Syrian, Russian and Iranian flags.

Both Syria and its ally Russian Federation have said they would guarantee the safety and security of the OPCW mission - the first outside Damascus since 2014. Israel did not deny or confirm any responsibility.

Sana, Syria's official state news agency, called the Western action "a flagrant violation of global law".

Fatah called for diplomacy as the only solution in Syria outside of external interference.

Associated Press reporters saw smoke rising above eastern Damascus and spotted fiery streaks of surface-to-air missiles. He added that 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.

The British Prime Minister insisted that military action against Bashar Assad's regime was a limited strike in response to the "harrowing" chemical weapons attack in Douma and was not about regime change. Just a week earlier, Trump had shocked his own security chiefs by abruptly announcing his intention to rapidly remove U.S. troops from Syria, where they have been fighting IS militants.

"With this in mind and against the backdrop of an agreement on the evacuation of the Jaysh al-Islam* militant group from Ghouta reached by means of cooperation between the CIA and intelligence services of Saudi Arabia, there was no logic in the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, " Sener underscored.

And Russia, which has backed President Assad since before the start of the conflict in Syria, alleged early Friday that the attack was staged by Britain, a charge rejected by both Britain and the United States. Another official said multiple types of bombs were used, and a variety of targets chosen.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged all member states to "show restraint" and avoid any actions "that could escalate the situation and worsen the suffering of the Syrian people".



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