Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Pentagon on Syria strikes: 'We successfully hit every target'

Pentagon on Syria strikes: 'We successfully hit every target'

The televised image of Assad walking on gleaming marble floors toward his office, briefcase in hand, matched the rhetoric the Syrian government put out soon after the strike: the second USA attack in a year in response to suspected chemical weapons use has failed to rattle the regime and the president is in control.

Hounded by controversies related to a federal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election, Trump stayed out of the public eye much of this week, locked in White House Situation Room meetings about Syria. "Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military". "Could not have had a better result".

"Very soon, very soon, we're coming out", Trump said in telegraphing his thoughts to a crowd in Richfield, Ohio, on March 30.

"The nations of Britain, France, and the United States of America have marshalled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality", US President Donald Trump said in an address from the White House at about 21:00 local time (02:00 BST).

US, British and French "naval and air assets" took part in the strikes, which US defence chief James Mattis said employed more than twice the amount of munitions used in American strikes in Syria a year ago following the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack.

The strikes were in response to a suspected chemical attack on the Syrian town of Douma last week.

Mattis said Friday there were no reports of USA losses in what he described as a heavy but carefully limited assault. "So it was a mission accomplished".

The strikes "successfully hit every target, " Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said at a briefing. "The strikes were justified, legitimate and proportionate". She urged Russian Federation and Iran to help prevent any further use of chemical weapons by Assad's regime.

Defense Secretary James Mattis said Friday night that the United States was expecting a disinformation campaign by those aligned with the Assad regime. "When our president draws a red line, our president enforces the red line".

Hundreds of Syrian citizens are demonstrating in a landmark square of the Syrian capital, waving victory signs and honking their auto horns in a show of defiance. The intercepted missiles included all 12 of those bound for the Al-Dumayr military airfield near Damascus, where the chemical attack that triggered the crisis was allegedly launched.

Haley said the USA was prepared to sustain the pressure if the Syrian regime was "foolish enough to test our will".

The allied attack set off a fierce worldwide debate about whether it was justified.

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The Kremlin condemned the air strikes on Syria where its armed forces are backing Assad and said it was calling an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council, where it is a permanent member, to discuss the "aggressive actions" of the U.S. and its allies.

OPCW inspectors have raised questions about the SSRC since 2013, when Damascus joined the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention and agreed to do away with its stockpile to avert threatened strikes under President Barack Obama.

Its foreign ministry said: "We welcome this operation which has eased humanity's conscience in the face of the attack in Douma".

White also said Russian Federation has begun a disinformation campaign on the situation.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis on Friday night said the assault was a "one-time shot", so long as Assad does not repeat his use of chemical weapons.

Syria said its air defenses were successful in knocking down numerous incoming rockets, minimizing damage to the capital and its surrounding area.

The third target was a chemical weapons equipment storage facility and an important command post, also west of Homs, Dunford said.

Some insurgent officials said they feared an onslaught against the rebel bastion of Idlib, which a senior Iranian official has indicated could be the next target.

"Initial assessments are that this target was destroyed", he said.

All three leaders said the use of chemical agents gave them a moral obligation to act.

The arguments over what happened in Douma on April 7 and who was responsible have dragged US-Russian relations to their lowest ebb in decades.

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