US Conducts 'Perfectly Executed Strike' Against Syria

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President Donald Trump announced on Friday he ordered strikes on the Syrian regime in response to a chemical weapons attack last weekend.

He says the overnight operation carried out by the United States, France and Britain followed that example.

Speaking to Sky News, Jonathan Shaw, a former assistant chief of the British Armed Forces, has specifically pointed to the fact that President Bashar Assad's forces are winning the war in Syria.

"Russia severely condemns the attack on Syria where Russian military are helping the lawful government in the fight with terrorism", the Kremlin said in a statement, its first reaction to the strikes.

"Our warnings have been left unheard", Russia's ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, said in a tweet on Saturday morning.

The US, UK and France launched airstrikes against multiple targets in Syria early on Saturday morning, targeting sites linked to alleged chemical weapons production.

Trump, while addressing the nation on Friday night, said the joint strike with France and the United Kingdom was now underway. The Syrian government and Russian Federation called this information untrue, while the United States and allies have blamed Bashar al-Assad for the attack.

In a statement on Saturday, he reiterated the Russian view that an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma that killed dozens of civilians was fake: "Russian military experts, having visited the place of the alleged incident, did not find any traces of the use of chlorine or other poisonous substances".

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"These are crimes of a monster", said Trump, adding that Bashar al-Assad's "recent attack... are a direct result of Russia's failure..." Several explosions were heard in the Eastern and Southern parts of the capital of Damascus. A second witness said the Barzah district of Damascus had been hit in the strikes.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis and Marine General Joseph Dunford said three main chemical weapons facilities were targeted at 9 pm EST (2 am CEST) by missiles from both the sea and aircraft.

British PM Theresa May also supported the US-led air strikes on Syria by calling them a "clear message" against the use of chemical weapons. "Clearly the Assad regime did not get the message previous year", Mattis said.

Trump said that the "massacre" last weekend in Syria "was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very bad regime". A US official told Reuters that Tomahawk cruise missiles also were involved.

- The only retaliatory action was some Syrian surface-to-air missile activity, the United States said. It said air defenses confronted the attack and had shot down 13 missiles in the Kiswah area south of Damascus. "We call upon Russian Federation to honor its commitment to ensure the Assad regime dismantles its chemical weapons program and never uses chemical weapons again".

Last year, the United States fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the guided missile destroyers USS Porter and the USS Ross that struck the Shayrat air base. Syrian TV showed video of the rubble of one target which appeared to have been destroyed by a missile strike.

French Defense Minister Florence Parly said the Russians were warned "ahead of time" - despite claims from the Pentagon that Moscow was not notified.

Since the USA and its allies attacked Syria Friday in response to alleged chemical weapons attacks on its own people, there has been a significant surge in Russian trolls promoting fake news, the Pentagon announced Saturday.

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