Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Syrians in Vancouver react to US-led airstrikes

Syrians in Vancouver react to US-led airstrikes

The U.S., Britain and France said they launched Saturday's strike to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad for an alleged chemical attack against civilians in the town of Douma outside Damascus.

Earlier Friday, Canada became the latest country to lay the blame for a deadly chemical-weapons attack in Syria last week at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's doorstep, despite Russian suggestions to the contrary.

Washington described its targets as a centre near Damascus for the research, development, production and testing of chemical and biological weapons, a chemical weapons storage site near the city of Homs, and another site near Homs that stored chemical weapons equipment and housed a command post.

The allied strikes drew immediate condemnation from Syria and its allies, Iran and Russian Federation, who accused the U.S., France and Britain of violating Syria's sovereignty and violating worldwide law.

That attack, [Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White says], hit a Syrian military air base and was meant to focus on Syria's ability to deliver chemical weapons.

After the vote, Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said the meeting confirmed that the USA and its allies "continue to put worldwide politics and diplomacy in the realm of myth-making - myths invented in London, Paris and Washington".

Bashar Jaafari, Syria's envoy to the United Nations, said the US, UK and France were "liars, spoilers and hypocrites" who exploited the United Nations "to pursue your policy of interference and colonialism". United States officials said the Syrian military planes that dropped the chemicals had taken off from there.

Theresa May 'seeks full role' in Syria strikes
The same officials say Syria has continued to produce or procure chlorine, which also has industrial and agricultural uses. Event if Trump did, al-Atrash added, it could not disrupt the rapport among Syrian people, army and government.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a statement backed the strikes, saying they "will reduce the regime's ability to further attack the people of Syria with chemical weapons". She said Russian Federation had thwarted diplomatic efforts to halt Assad's use of poison gas, leaving no option but force.

Assad's key regional ally, Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, branded US President Donald Trump, France's Emmanuel Macron and Britain's Theresa May "criminals". "There's no point in keeping a dictator killing his own people for seven years, forcibly displacing them, demographically changing the country, creating the worst refugee crisis since World War II".

Putin demanded a United Nations Security Council immediately.

And the strikes certainly didn't even come close to making Assad fear that anything of real value to him or the regime would be threatened if he used chemical weapons again.

He would give the green light to launch a military offensive alongside the United States "once we have verified all the information" to remove "the regime's chemical attacks capabilities", he told TF1 television. Trump blamed Assad for that attack, though some worldwide observers have said it is hard to prove who was behind it.

One official cautioned, however, that U.S. intelligence assessments indicate Assad still has chemical weapons in Syria.

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