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U.S. 'locked and loaded' to strike Syria again if new attack
15 April 2018, 07:56 | Jodi Jackson
Mouneb Taim Pacific Press via ZUMA
"A short time ago, I ordered the United States Armed Forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad", Trump said in a televised address from the White House. But that is to trivialize Assad's offense and suggest that the US commander in chief can't or shouldn't act because he's besieged.
When asked whether the UK had communicated with Russian Federation ahead of the strikes, May said: "This is not something that the United Kingdom has been involved in". Those aren't the only difference between the strikes. "This legally questionable action risks escalating further, as US Defence Secretary James Mattis has admitted, an already devastating conflict and therefore makes real accountability for war crimes and use of chemical weapons less, not more likely". The strikes, a joint operation between the USA, United Kingdom and France, targeted three locations associated with the production and storage of chemical weapons: a scientific research center; a storage center for sarin and its precursor components; and a chemical weapons storage facility and command post, according to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford.
Multiple Syrian state sources report that the Mazzeh military Airbase and the Damascus International Airport were also targeted, though these claims are denied by the coalition. "We've attacked the heart of the Syrians' chemical weapons program".
The second target was a chemical weapons storage facility west of the city of Homs. The treaty does, however, prohibit the use of chlorine as a weapon.
The U.S. had no coordination or agreements with Russians before the strike, McKenzie said.
The three allies used ships, a submarine and warplanes to launch a barrage of 105 guided missiles towards three chemical weapons facilities in Syria, officials said, including a research center on the outskirts of Damascus. "They are laughing at us".
In a statement by its foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying, it called for a "return to the framework of worldwide law" and said it was "opposed to the use of force".
He pointed out that earlier Russian Federation and Syria's actions put Trump in a delicate situation, as the former two advocated sending an global team to Syria to investigate the alleged chemical weapons attack, while the U.S. opposed this move, making it look like the White House did not want the truth to come to light. Now that the extent and nature of the strikes are much clearer, my assessment is that they will not achieve their stated goal.
France confirmed a "large part" of the Syrian regime's chemical arsenal was destroyed last night following the strike. But the United Nations has documented dozens of chemical attacks since then and opposition activists claim the government has carried out hundreds of attacks with chlorine, which isn't illegal to possess but is prohibited for use as a weapon. "And they were the result of the regime and Russia's failure to live up to their worldwide commitments to remove all chemical weapons from Syria".
Speaking from the White House, Trump says, "To Iran and to Russian Federation, I ask: What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?"
This year's message wasn't too different. "Assad's actions were beyond the pale", White replied.
Avoiding further erosion of these norms is in the national interest of the United States. Russia, China and Bolivia supported the measure, while four members abstained and eight voted against - including the U.S., Britain and France.
"Our focus remains defeating ISIS". "This is not about intervening in a civil war".
When asked about the hard evidence of the alleged chemical attack in Syria and justification of the USA strike, Pentagon officials showed the art of avoiding direct answers and shifting the blame.
"I would not in any way attempt to extrapolate that to a change in our policy or posture relative to our military activities in Syria today".
Mr. Trump, however, has said recently that he wants to pull out of Syria "very soon" - a desire that seems to be complicated by this weekend's strikes. Thankfully all US troops involved in the operation appeared to have come through it without casualties.
Syria's capital has been rocked by loud explosions that lit up the sky with heavy smoke as U.S. President Donald Trumpannounced airstrikes in retaliation for the country's alleged use of chemical weapons.
The joint bombing campaign in Syria was hailed a "success" by Theresa May, Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron in talks by telephone on Saturday afternoon. And great warriors they are.
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