In Syria strike, the real danger is Russia - Peter Apps

Trump Brings 'Righteous Power Against Barbarism and Brutality'

In the attack Friday night, Britain and France joined USA forces to hit three targets instead of last year's one and with 105 missiles, almost double the number last year.

The Pentagon said there had been chemical weapons agents at one of the targets, and that the strikes had significantly crippled Syria's ability to produce such weapons.

Both the Russians and the USA said there were no reported casualties. The targets included a scientific research facility in the Damascus area, a chemical weapons storage facility west of the city of Homs and a third location near Homs that contained both a command post and a chemical weapons equipment storage facility, the USA military said.

Chlorine, in contrast, has been used more widely in Syria's conflict without past USA reprisals, and the chemical itself is far easier to find and weaponise, experts say. Both facilities are located near Homs, north of Damascus.

The Pentagon says Syria launched 40 surface-to-air missiles in response to the coalition attack.

No military measures were immediately announced, but in a clear warning to the USA and its allies, Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi of the Russian military's General Staff said Moscow could boost Syria's Soviet-era air defense assets with batteries of state-of-the-art S-300 missiles.

Syrian state media reported only three people injured and Russia's defence ministry said there were "no victims" among Syrian civilians and military personnel. In 2017, the USA has launched missiles against Syria following reports of a sarin gas attack in April. Paris released a dossier that it said showed Damascus was to blame for the poison gas attack on Douma, the last town holding out in a rebel-held swathe of territory near Damascus that government forces have recaptured this year. "Such a strategy ought to include imposing no-fly zone, pushing Iran's military, IRGC and Quds Force out of Syria by targeting its bases, conducting land and air operations simultaneously, and ultimately altering the regime which continues to commit crimes against humanity".

The United States, France and Britain on Saturday launched strikes against Bashar al-Assad's government a week after an alleged chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma, just east of the capital Damascus.

Muzna Dureid, a Syrian who came to Montreal a year and a half ago, agrees that Friday's strikes don't go far enough in putting pressure on the Assad government.

Syria claims to have given up its chemical weapons in 2013. Of course, many recalled President George W. Bush's ill-advised 2003 declaration months into the Iraq War.

The military strike was carried out by the US, France and the United Kingdom in response to Syria's use of chemical weapons.

"British Prime Minister Theresa May said in London that the West had tried "every possible" diplomatic means to stop Assad from using chemical weapons".

Putin condemned Saturday's strikes as an "act of aggression" that will worsen the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria and have a "destructive influence on the entire system of worldwide relations". The U.S. says it suspects that sarin gas also was used. And Trump's ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said the U.S. is "locked and loaded", and ready to punish Syria again if it keeps using chemical weapons.

"Because [his people] said, 'No, we don't want you anymore, '" she explained. He accused the allies of violating the UN Charter and global law.

U.S. President Donald Trump will not find things easy for now as Congressional Democrats have attacked him for not seeking Congress authorisation before striking Syria on Friday.



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