Theresa May declares Syria air strikes successful

Carla Harmon
April 15, 2018

The Douma attack has drawn worldwide outrage which has seen Theresa May and Mr Trump agree that the use of chemical weapons must not go unchallenged after the Prime Minister won the backing of her Cabinet for action to prevent their further use in Syria. Putin added that Russian military experts who inspected Douma found no trace of the attack.

The UK's Opposition Labour party branded the strikes as "legally questionable", conducted without the backing or vote in the UK Parliament.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said there were no reports of US losses in what he described as a heavy but carefully limited assault.

In a statement late on Friday, May said: "We can not allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalized - within Syria, on the streets of the United Kingdom, or anywhere else in our world".

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday said that it has received reports that an estimated 500 patients at Syrian health facilities have exhibited signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals, after the shelling of a Damascus suburb over the weekend.

"This action risks not just further escalating the civil war in Syria but also a risky escalation of worldwide tensions".

Following the announcement, the USA said strikes had been launched at 9pm EST (2am BST) and had destroyed important infrastructure at three sites connected with the Syrian regime's chemical weapons programme. "It is not about regime change", May said in a statement.


The two leaders also said there was a need "to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime", as they pledged to work together on the worldwide response to the suspected chemical weapons attack.

The Cabinet's approval for action raised the likelihood of Britain joining France and the U.S. in a military response against Syria's government.

He reiterated that Canada condemns the use of chemical weapons in Ghouta.

"The combined American, British, and French response to these atrocities will integrate all instruments of our national power - military, economic, and diplomatic".

Other strikes targeted an army depot near Homs. "Could be very soon or not so soon at all!" he wrote.

According to state-run Syrian News Agency (SANA), an official source at the Syrian Foreign Ministry said Thursday that the government will cooperate fully with the OPCW fact-finding mission and that it would hold the West responsible for any delays in that mission. He added that the US expects the Syrian government and its allies to conduct a "significant disinformation campaign", which the Pentagon would rebut with additional information Saturday morning.

Trump chastised Syria's two main allies, Russia and Iran, for their roles in supporting "murderous dictators", and noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin had guaranteed a 2013 global agreement for Assad to get rid of all of his chemical weapons.


The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons tweeted Thursday that a team of its investigators will start work Saturday in Douma. In 2013, Parliament defeated a call by then-Prime Minister David Cameron for airstrikes in response to an earlier chemical attack in Syria.

The strikes appear to signal Trump's willingness to draw the United States more deeply into the Syrian conflict. But after being criticized for apparently telegraphing USA intentions, Trump on Thursday attempted to blur the timing of any potential airstrikes on Syria.

"To do so would normalise the use of chemical weapons, inviting Assad and other dictators to carry on deploying them with impunity".

In his nationwide address, Trump stressed that he has no interest in a longtime fight with Syria.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also said questions remained about how peace could be brought to Syria.

Lawmakers backed action in Iraq in 2014, and again in Syria in 2015, strictly limiting strikes in both countries to targets of the Islamic State jihadist group. A USA -led coalition has been conducting airstrikes in Syria since September 2014 as part of a largely successful effort to break the IS grip on both Syria and Iraq.


Other reports by iNewsToday

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