Air strikes launched in Syria in response to suspected chemical weapons attack

Air strikes launched in Syria in response to suspected chemical weapons attack

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has accused the government of "waiting for instructions" from President Trump and said military action was unlikely to solve the situation in Syria.

"This is not about intervening in a civil war".

In response, Russia's Foreign Ministry said: "Smart missiles should fly towards terrorists, not towards the lawful government".

Explosions lit up the skies over Damascus, the Syrian capital, as Trump spoke from the White House.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, striking a cautious tone hours after Trump's threat of missile strikes, said the United States was assessing intelligence about the suspected attack.

The senior administration official said, "What you've seen tonight is not the end of the U.S. response".

He did not elaborate but added that the US military stood ready to provide military options, if appropriate.

The Russian ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, condemned the airstrikes and warned that "such actions will not be left without consequences". Civilians and rebel forces abandoned Douma following the latest attack.

US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert has said the US has "a very high level of confidence" that Syria was responsible for the recent chemical attack in the Middle East nation.

The Russian military said it had observed movements of U.S. Navy forces in the Gulf. This has raised fears of a possible direct clash of US and Russian forces.

The strikes were carried out by manned aircraft and from ships that launched cruise missiles from the Mediterranean Sea. "The United States will be a partner and a friend".

After the Douma attack, the insurgent group dug in there, Jaish al-Islam, finally agreed to withdraw. They are in eastern Syria, far from Damascus.

Gen. Dunford said the attacks would substantially reduce Syria's ability to research, develop and use chemical weapons.

"We're rapidly reaching an understanding of what happened on the ground", she told reporters.

There have been calls from opposition parties and some Conservative MPs for Parliament to have a vote beforehand.

"America does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria", he said. The Pentagon said it would provide a more detailed assessment on Saturday morning. The U.S. Defense Department said it did not comment on potential military actions.

Regarding the chemical attacks, which he blamed on Assad, Trump said it was not the actions of a man but the crimes of a monster.

The WHO cautioned that it has no formal role in forensic inquiries into the use of chemical weapons.

The president urged Americans to pray for members of the Armed Forces who were now attacking military targets in Syria.

Mattis said the targets selected by U.S., British and French officials were meant to minimize civilian casualties. Russian Federation is Assad's most powerful ally and its devastating air power has helped him wrest back large areas of territory from rebels since 2015.

She said that USA officials are "continuing to assess intelligence" and are "engaged in conversations with our partners and allies".

Trump specifically called out Russian Federation for their support of Assad, urging them to stop backing the Syrian dictator in the Middle East. A fact-finding team of inspectors from the global chemical weapons watchdog was in Damascus and had been expected to head to the town of Douma on Saturday, scene of the suspected chemical weapons attack that killed more than 40 people. Mattis said the number of weapons used was about double those employed in a strike in April 2017. Many waved Syrian, Russian and Iranian flags.

CNN reported a Western military operation was under way in Syria and that Tomahawk cruise missiles are believed to have been mobilized as was the case in the air raid of April past year.

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