US, UK, France launch air strikes in Syria


As he spoke, explosions rocked Damascus.

"A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now under way".

Over 100 missiles were launched at civilian and military facilities in Syria in response to an alleged gas attack in Douma that has been widely blamed on Assad's forces.

Russia's Foreign Ministry condemned the attack calling it a flagrant violation of global law.

- General Dunford described the operation as a "one-time shot", and said no additional attacks were planned, but added that the powers that had signed the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had every reason to challenge Syrian President Bashar Assad if he chose to violate it. The Syrian government and Russian Federation called this information untrue, while the USA and allies have blamed Bashar al-Assad for the attack.

"These are not the actions of a man", Trump said in televised remarks announcing the strikes. A second witness said the Barzah district of Damascus had been hit in the strikes.

A scientific research center in Damascus.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, Joint Chief of Staff, said the strikes were carried out on three Syrian chemical weapons infrastructures and the USA believed it would send al-Assad a strong message.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the missile strike against Syria's military and civilian infrastructures was carried out by USA planes and naval ships in cooperation with British and French air forces between 03:42 and 05:10 Moscow time on Saturday. The source says they are "significantly enhanced" in terms of anti-strike and anti-aircraft capabilities. He said at least one chemical was used - chlorine, which also has legitimate industrial uses and had not previously triggered a USA military response.

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The United States struck the base with 58 missiles in response to the chemical attack that killed more than 80 people.

Putin also denied that the Assad regime used chemical weapons in Douma, saying that Russian military experts had tested the area and found nothing.

A United States official told Reuters the strikes were aimed at multiple targets and involved Tomahawk cruise missiles.

She said nearly a century of global acceptance about not using chemical weapons had been eroded in Douma and Salisbury.

The U.S. president, who has tried to build good relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, had sharply critical words for Russia and Iran, which have backed Assad's government.

He added: "To Iran and to Russian Federation I ask - what kind of regime wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?"

The U.S. missile strike a year ago, which targeted the airfield from where Syrian aircraft had launched their gas attack, was meant to deter Assad from further use of chemical weapons.

Meanwhile, the US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the strikes that were carried out on Syria were carefully planned to minimise civilian casualties.