Pentagon: 'Precise, Overwhelming, Effective' Attack on Syrian Facilities

  • Pentagon: 'Precise, Overwhelming, Effective' Attack on Syrian Facilities

Pentagon: 'Precise, Overwhelming, Effective' Attack on Syrian Facilities

The main town in Eastern Ghouta, and the last to have escaped government control, is Douma, the site of the alleged chemical attack on April 7 that prompted the unprecedented Western reaction.

Washington believes both sarin and chlorine were used in the April 7 attack, a senior USA administration official told reporters on Saturday.

She added that while the mission in Syria remains defeating the Islamic State, which has seen its grip weaken in the region in recent months, the US will not allow Assad to attack "innocent Syrian people".

One major concern the United States had was that the Syria strikes would prompt a direct confrontation between Washington and Moscow, whose relations have been spiraling downward.

Vassily Nebenzia, Haley's Russian counterpart at the United Nations.

"I spoke to the president [Donald Trump] this morning and he said: If the Syrian regime uses this poisonous gas again, the United States is locked and loaded", Haley said.

Once again, though, Assad's suspected use of chemical weapons prompted the president to play cop on the beat, however reluctantly. "Could not have had a better result", Trump tweeted Saturday. Besides that being an unfortunate echo of former President George W. Bush's premature victory declaration during the Iraq war, it's unclear how much the USA has accomplished.

"We met our objectives. So it was mission accomplished", Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White later said. The strikes, a joint operation between the US, United Kingdom and France, targeted three locations associated with the production and storage of chemical weapons: a scientific research center; a storage center for sarin and its precursor components; and a chemical weapons storage facility and command post, according to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford. Syrian television reported that a scientific research center had been hit.

She said that the USA and its allies had given diplomacy "chance after chance", but that those efforts failed because Russian Federation had continuously protected Assad.

According to USA officials, the operation comprised three United States destroyers, a French frigate and a U.S. submarine.

The "locked and loaded" to strike Syria again if the Assad regime resumes its use of chemical weapons, Nikki Haley, the country's United Nations ambassador warned Saturday.

"They [France] said the facts were incontrovertible [for the chemical attack in Douma], but said they could not share them with us", Mr Lavrov said, according to BBC.

The coordinated attack on Syria by US and allied military forces illustrates the conflicting impulses behind President Trump's foreign policy.

"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.

The defense secretary says Friday's strikes have "sent a clear message" to Assad and his "murderous lieutenants".

But George says a new government will risk religious freedom in Syria.

Assad's key ally Iran also slammed the attack, with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei describing Western leaders as "criminals".

Fortunately, however, Trump did appear to carefully and smartly avoid attacking Russian forces on the ground in Syria.

In central Damascus, dozens of Syrians arrived on bicycles, on foot and in cars spray painted with the red, white, and black colors of the Syrian flag, blaring patriotic tunes.

The launch of more than 100 missile strikes drew mixed reaction in Washington, with some calling Trump's decision illegal. "It shot down American arrogance", he said.

· The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was scheduled to begin a fact-finding mission to investigate the claims of gas attacks on civilians in Douma.

Like thousands of others in the town, the medical student, Mohammed, has now been evacuated north to areas under rebel control as the government retakes the eastern Ghouta suburbs. "We don't want to get into a fight with them, they don't want to get in a fight with us", he said. The rebel group that controlled the town made a deal to surrender in return for safe passage out, just hours after the alleged chemical attack on April 7. A similar strike for similar purposes at a similar time past year didn't deter Syrian President Bashar Assad from repeatedly and illegally using the banned weapons.