US, UK and France Launch Strikes Against Syria

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Witnesses on the ground in Damascus reported hearing explosions in the Syrian capital, where more than a million people live.

Trump said he was prepared to sustain the response until Assad's government stopped its use of chemical weapons.

Western powers blamed President Bashar al-Assad, but Syria and its ally Russian Federation categorically denied the claims and accused the West of "fabricating" the incident to justify military action.

On Monday, Russia warned that any military intervention from the US against Russian allies in Syria would result in the "most serious consequences" and called news of last weekend's chemical attacks "fabricated".

While no further strikes have been planned, Le Drian refused to rule out a further attack if Assad crossed the "red line" of using chemical weapons again.

Tayyip Erdogan, president of Syria's neighbour Turkey, said on Friday he had spoken by phone with Trump and Putin and told both that increasing tensions in the region was not right.

Syrian state media slammed Western strikes on Saturday as illegal and "doomed to fail", after the US, France, and Britain launched a joint operation against the Damascus government. US allies including France and Britain then quickly joined Trump in denouncing Syria and agreed there was a need to respond to the chemical attack. "They are crimes of a monster instead". Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoi on Saturday said Russian Federation may consider supplying S-300 missile systems to Syria. A second witness said the Barzah district of Damascus had been hit in the strikes.

"A large part of its chemical arsenal has been destroyed".

Trump's tweet Saturday morning recalled former President George W. Bush's infamous declaration, standing aboard an aircraft carrier in 2003, that the US had accomplished its mission in Iraq.

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Pentagon officials said Friday night that Syrian forces returned fire with surface-to-air missiles, but initial assessments were that allied forces suffered no losses. The base is where planes allegedly had launched chemical attacks.

The open meeting started at 11:00 am (15:00 GMT) and the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged all members of the UN Security Council to exercise restraint and avoid escalation in Syria.

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. The missiles had been shot down in the Kiswah area south of the capital Damascus, it said.

Russian Federation has warned the West against attacking Assad, who is also supported by Iran, and says there is no evidence of a chemical attack in Douma, a town near Damascus which had been held by rebels until this month.

President Donald Trump says the United States has "launched precision strikes" on targets associated with Syrian chemical weapons program. He said the targets were "selected. carefully to minimize the risk to innocent civilians" and that he was unaware of any civilian casualties from the operation.

Trump told the nation in his address the USA "cannot purge the world of evil or act everywhere there is tyranny".

"Mission Accomplished" he remarked, as it was announced all USA missiles hit three targets that were involved in the production, development and storage of chemical weapons.

President Donald Trump speaks about the United States' military response to Syria's chemical weapon attack on April 7.

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