US, allies' strike in Syria is 'appropriate and needed — Georgian FM

"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. An official said in a statement today that President Donald Trump made clear past year that the use of chemical weapons was a red line not to be crossed.

Trump said the strikes were a direct response to an alleged April 7 chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Douma that rescuers and monitors say killed more than 40 people.

After another round of chemical attacks against Syrian people in the town of Douma last week, the United States and their allies have issued an emphatic response by launching their first airstrikes on Syria, as Russian Federation promises retaliation and civilians around the globe hold their collective breath.

Russian Ambassador to the USA Anatoly Antonov posted an explosive online statement that claimed Russia was being "threatened". Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the USA -led action in Syria was a crime and would not achieve any gains.

Iran's Foreign Ministry has also strongly condemned the airstrikes and warned of its regional consequences.

The Syrian military said it had shot down 13 missiles.

The presence of Russian troops and air defenses in Syria were among numerous complications weighing on Trump, who must also consider the dangers to roughly 2,000 American troops in the country if Russia were to retaliate for USA strikes.

They targeted a scientific research facility in the Damascus area, a chemical weapons storage facility west of the city of Homs and a third location that contained both a command post and a chemical weapons equipment storage facility in the same area, the USA military said. Government sources are stressing this morning that the attacks were strictly meant to target President Assad's ability to create and use chemical weapons.

US defense officials said Friday they did not consult their Russian counterparts about the strikes, or notify them in advance, though they did use existing lines of communication to de-conflict the airspace to prevent any accidental incidents between USA and Russian planes.

SNC member Hadi al-Bahra said the strikes did send a message to the Syrian regime, but not a strong enough one.

USA officials said there was no indication so far that Syrian air defenses struck attacking Western aircraft or ships.

U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence is attending the Summit of the Americas in Trump's stead, and is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Saturday. "This legally questionable action risks escalating further, as United States 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". At a Pentagon news conference alongside Mattis, and with British and French military officers beside them to emphasize allied unity, Dunford said the attacks targeted mainly three targets in western Syria.

Syrian television reported that Syria's air defences, which are substantial, responded to the attack.

It is believed the Syrian regime, run by the country's president - Bashar al-Assad - is responsible for the attack on its people.

Saturday's calibrated response in Moscow to the US airstrike against a key Middle Eastern ally illustrated in stark terms the Kremlin's balancing act as it pushes to expand its influence overseas but seeks to maintain control over how far tensions rise.

Daniel Ricciardo storms to victory as championship leaders toil at Chinese GP
The advantage of fresh tyres allowed Verstappen and Ricciardo to scythe through the field. "It is disappointing. Vettel was also passed by the McLaren of Fernando Alonso two laps from the end.

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

"If there is a USA missile attack, we - in line with both Putin and Russia's chief of staff's remarks - will shoot down USA rockets and even the sources that launched the missiles", Zasypkin told al Manar.

In a statement from the Kremlin, Mr Putin said Moscow was calling an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

Russia's ambassador to the USA responded by saying the attack on its ally "will not be left without consequences".

Washington, Paris and London have nevertheless insisted that their own secret intelligence points to Assad's guilt, and on Friday, a USA spokeswoman said they had "proof".

"Trump says, "The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep". The regime "slaughtered innocent civilians" in the recent attack, the president stated.

May said the missile strike was created to minimize any civilian casualties and was not an attempt to change the Syrian government.

British Prime Minister Theresa May also blamed Russian Federation for thwarting diplomatic efforts to put an end to the use of chemical weapons in Syria. They are in eastern Syria, far from Damascus. Those who left Syria before, missed the opportunity to act on chemical weapons.

"Such attacks will have no result but more destruction. the Americans want to justify their presence in the region by such attacks", Rohani was quoted as saying by Tasnim.

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".

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?" A red line has been crossed.

At the same time, declaring "Mission Accomplished", -a questionable phrase to use if there ever was one-the president is once more indicating that he has no desire to become more deeply involved in the Syrian conflagration beyond the limited deployments in Eastern Syria assisting in the mop-up operations against the caliphate of the Islamic State. Gen Dunford confirmed the wave of strikes had ended.

May said the missile strike, created to minimize civilian casualties, was aimed at deterring further use of chemical weapons and was not an attempt to topple the Syrian government.

"This was not about interfering in a civil war", said Mrs May. There was global alarm, then as now, about his suspected use of chemical weapons. We can not allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised, either in Syria, on the streets of the United Kingdom or elsewhere. "It will only use explosive barrels, cluster bombs", he said.

In her press conference Saturday morning, May repeatedly dodged questions about why she had not recalled parliament to seek MPs' support for the airstrikes, insisting it was the right and only course of action left to her after Russia's failure to engage diplomatically.

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