In Syria strikes, U.S. blurs red line for intervention

  • In Syria strikes, U.S. blurs red line for intervention

In Syria strikes, U.S. blurs red line for intervention

Using two words that ended up haunting George W. Bush during the Iraq War, President Donald Trump took to Twitter Saturday to declare "Mission Accomplished!" following airstrikes on chemical weapons targets in Syria.

This comes days after the US, Britain, and France conducted "precision strikes" in Syria on Friday in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government. 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.

- US President Donald Trump condemned Syria's two main allies, Russian Federation and Iran, for supporting "murderous dictators".

"We will continue to work with our worldwide partners to further investigate the use of chemical weapons in Syria".

The three countries launched their missiles even as the fact-finding team from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was in the Syrian capital and had been expected to head on Saturday to Douma.

A second USA official said Britain, France and the US are confident that the inspectors' eventual report will confirm their findings that chlorine was used, likely in conjunction with sarin.

With the latest USA missile strikes, President Donald Trump appears to have reset America's red line for military intervention in Syria over the use of chemical weapons.

Pentagon officials said the overnight missile strikes by the US, the United Kingdom, and France on three key targets in Syria crippled the ability of dictator Bashar al-Assad's regime to use chemical weapons.

"The red line set by France in May 2017 has been crossed", he said.

Syrian envoy to the UN Bashar Jaafari claimed that the Douma attack was a "masquerade" mounted by rebels.

"This aggression will only make Syria and its people more determined to keep fighting and crushing terrorism in every inch of the country", he said.

In northern Syria, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said an explosion rocked an area where pro-government Iranian fighters and allied Shi'ite militias were based.

Negotiations stalled on April 6, the day before the strikes.

"The president used the term "mission accomplished" in the military sense".

On Saturday Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron huddled by telephone to discuss their joint action.

Trump noted that a million people died or suffered injuries from chemical weapons during World War I. Since that time, he said, the civilized world has shunned the use of such weapons.

Moscow slammed the "aggressive actions" of the Western coalition but has not yet responded militarily.

Johnson also insisted that the action would not "turn the tide" of the conflict and was not about regime change.

Russian Federation has reacted strongly to the air strikes and warned of "consequences".

Russian agencies quoted the lawmakers as saying that Assad was in a "good mood", had praised the Soviet-era air defence systems Syria used to repel the Western attacks and had accepted an invitation to visit Russia at an unspecified time.

It said three civilians were wounded in the Homs attacks but did not give a toll for Damascus or mention any combatant casualties.

The Syrian Scientific Research Establishment is one of the targets that were hit by USA missile strikes that hit Syria shortly before dawn on Friday.