April 22, 2018

'Complete nonsense': How Russian media covered the air strikes in Syria

15 April 2018, 07:53 | Brandon Parsons

AP Press Association Images

US UK and France launch military strikes on Syria

"That failure is largely due to Russian obstruction".

The U.S., France and Great Britain have carried out an appropriately limited but symbolically meaningful strike in response to the suspected chemical weapons attack by Syrian forces against the citizens of Douma. She added that the USA supports the UN-led peace process in Syria, as it wants "a diplomatic, political resolution to the Syrian conflict, but civilized nations can't let what's happened in Syria stand". A senior administration official told reporters Saturday that while there was more publicly available evidence pointing to the use of chlorine, the USA has "significant information that also points to sarin use".

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

Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the U.N., doubled down on the US strategy in Syria, saying that nothing has changed and that if Assad uses poison gas again, the United States is "locked and loaded".

Although Syria's military had moved aircraft and other military assets in the days preceding Friday's strike, Dunford said he did not believe it had moved chemical weapons materials.

The second target was a chemical weapons storage facility west of the city of Homs. The fact that these deaths did not involve chemical weapons makes them no less tragic for their victims and surviving loved ones. "This persistent pattern of behavior must be stopped - not just to protect innocent people in Syria from the horrific deaths and casualties caused by chemical weapons, but also because we can not allow the erosion of the worldwide norm that prevents the use of these weapons".

And the strikes certainly didn't even come close to making Assad fear that anything of real value to him or the regime would be threatened if he used chemical weapons again.

Following Trump's statement, UK Prime Minister Theresa May released a statement confirming that she had "authorized British armed forces to conduct coordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the Syrian Regime's chemical weapons capability and deter their use".

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McKenzie said 105 US and allied missiles were fired, of which 66 were Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from aboard three US Navy ships and one Navy submarine.

French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Saturday morning: 'A large part of its chemical arsenal has been destroyed. None of the more sophisticated air defenses that Moscow has positioned in Syria were employed, he said. However, McKenzie acknowledged that some unspecified portion of Assad's chemical arms infrastructure was not targeted. "I suspect, however, they'll think long and hard about it based on the activities of last night".

The White House said doctors and aid organizations on the ground in Douma reported "the strong smell of chlorine and described symptoms consistent with exposure to sarin".

"It does not exist anymore".

The U.S. has denied that assertion and called the group's mission "essential" to a complete understanding of what chemical agents were used. But he characterized the response by the three major North Atlantic Treaty Organisation powers as a clear signal that the use of chemical weapons would carry a price. Trump called the attack "evil" and "despicable", saying that it left mothers, fathers, infants and children thrashing in pain and gasping for air.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin reaffirmed the Kremlin's skepticism about the allies' Douma claim, saying Russian military experts had found no trace of the attack. But with the latest strikes, US forces may see an escalation in the conflict.

Russian and Syrian forces maintain that the chemical attacks were instigated by members of the rebel insurgency.

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