Syria Says It Responded to US-led Missile Strikes

Syria Says It Responded to US-led Missile Strikes

"Today the nations of Britain, France, and the United States of America have marshaled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality", said President Donald Trump, during a separate announcement from the White House, Friday. As he spoke, explosions rocked Damascus.

Around 103 missiles were fired at Syria with the aim of degrading Syria's chemical weapons capability without killing civilians.

The US leader also expressed gratitude toward allies in the United Kingdom and France for their involvement and support in the operation.

The bombing represents a major escalation in the West's confrontation with Assad's superpower ally Russian Federation, but is unlikely to alter the course of a multi-sided war which has killed at least half a million people in the past seven years.

- Syrian state TV called the attacks a "blatant violation of worldwide law and shows contempt for global legitimacy". Russia's ambassador to the United States said Moscow had warned that "such actions will not be left without consequences".

Following the announcement, the United States said strikes had been launched at 9pm EST (2am BST) and had destroyed important infrastructure at three sites connected with the Syrian regime's chemical weapons programme.

"The combined American, British, and French response to these atrocities will integrate all instruments of our national power - military, economic, and diplomatic".

Russian Federation has warned the West against attacking Assad, who is also supported by Iran, and says there is no evidence of a chemical attack in Douma, a town near Damascus which had been held by rebels until this month.

Worldwide chemical weapons experts were travelling to Syria to investigate an alleged gas attack by government forces on the town of Douma which killed dozens of people. "They are crimes of a monster instead", Trump said.

A scientific research center in Damascus.

The U.S. -led strikes come about one year after Trump ordered the launching of 58 Tomahawk missiles targeting a Syrian airfield from which another chemical attack was launched.

The allied strikes against the Syrian regime were too constrained and specific to have a positive effect towards reaching a political solution, Defence Minister Jüri Luik said in an interview with ERR's radio news on Saturday.

Jaish al-Islam has said it only agreed to the deal because of the Syrian government's purported use of toxic chemicals on Douma, which medics said killed more than 40 people.

"If it's the Russians, if it's Syria, if it's Iran, if it's all of them together, we'll figure it out, and we'll know the answers quite soon", Trump said on Monday. All the missiles hit their targets around 4 a.m. local time, McKenzie said.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis did not say whether he believed the strikes would deter Assad from using chemical weapons again.

Iran is the key backer alongside Russian Federation of the Syrian president, providing military advisors and "volunteer" ground forces.

"To Iran and to Russian Federation I ask, What kind of nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?"

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said the strikes were not about "regime change", but "about a limited and targeted strike that does not further escalate tensions in the region and that does everything possible to prevent civilian casualties".

Trump's tweet Saturday morning recalled former President George W. Bush's infamous declaration, standing aboard an aircraft carrier in 2003, that the US had accomplished its mission in Iraq.

Other strikes targeted an army depot near Homs.