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Syria air strikes: what do we know so far?

Syria air strikes: what do we know so far?”

Donald Trump has launched air strikes with United Kingdom and France that the president said were aimed at the Syrian regime's chemical weapons facilities in response to Saturday's poison gas attack in Damascus.

A Syrian military statement said the US, Britain, and France fired 110 missiles during a joint attack on targets in Damascus and outside.

The strikes were conducted against three targets, reportedly.

The U.K. -based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the Syrian war through activists on the ground, said installations belonging to the country's elite Republican Guards were also targeted.

"It proves high efficiency of the Syrian armament and professional skills of the Syrian servicemen trained by the Russian specialists", Rudskoy said at a Ministry of Defense media briefing.

"This was not geared towards weakening Assad's conventional military capabilities", said Kamran Bokhari, a senior fellow with the Center for Global Policy in Washington.

Syrian TV blasted the strikes as a "flagrant violation" of worldwide law.

The army said almost 110 missiles hit targets in the capital Damascus and other areas, and air defence systems brought majority down.

Mr Putin added that the strike had a "destructive influence on the entire system of global relations".

The attack "was a victory for Syria", former lawmaker Sharif Shehadeh said by phone from Damascus.

Syria's air defenses "were made in the USSR more than 30 years ago", the ministry said. "Trump did it to save face".

Iran has also been supportive of the Assad regime.

Syrian armed forces said in a statement, however, that the country's defense systems "intercepted most of the missiles, but some hit targets including the Research Center in Barzeh", a suburb of Damascus.

"So there is no practicable alternative to the use of force to degrade and deter the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Regime".

The Pentagon repeated Saturday that the President has the authority under the Constitution to defend United States interests, but what happens next is up to the Assad regime and Russian Federation.

He said that the strikes were a response to the Syrian regime's actions and were not a provocation against the Russian Federation or its forces in Syria.

His comments come after Moscow claimed Syria had shot down 71 of 103 coalition missiles.

The intervention is the biggest by Western powers against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country's seven-yearcivil war and pitted the United States and its allies against Russian Federation.

The strikes appeared to have taken place far from Russia's bases near the Syrian coast.

- American Forces deployed B-1B Lancer bombers for last night's strike and used double the number of weapons than in a 2017 missile strike responding to the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack.

Earlier this month, he privately told advisers that the US was getting "nothing" out of being involved in Syria and he made clear he wanted the 2,000 American troops now there combating IS militants out by the fall. "This time our allies and we have struck harder", Mattis said. "This is a regime that murders its people daily".

"We can not tolerate the recurring use of chemical weapons, which is an immediate danger for the Syrian people and our collective security", a statement from the Elysee presidential office said.

According to the United States, there were no civilian victims of the bombing raids.

May will address Parliament - where she doesn't have a majority - next week.

"I also have a message tonight for the two governments most responsible for supporting, equipping and financing the criminal Assad regime", Trump said.



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