Pentagon on Syria strikes: 'We successfully hit every target'

15 April 2018, 12:43 | Robert Harris

Damascus skies were alight as the US and allies launched attacks targeting several sites in the capital

Damascus skies were alight as the US and allies launched attacks targeting several sites in the capital

President Donald Trump on Saturday applauded Friday night's joint military strikes on Syria, tweeting that they "could not have had a better result".

Syrian state TV showed supporters of President Bashar al Assad honking their vehicle horns, waving Syrian flags and parading through iconic squares and arteries of the capital Damascus Saturday morning.

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

The demonstrations broke out early Saturday following a wave of U.S., British and French military strikes to punish President Bashar Assad for suspected chemical attack against civilians.

Trump said Assad's recent attack was a fallout of Russia's "failure" to keep the promise of eliminating Syria's chemical weapons.

The Kremlin has repeatedly dismissed the allegations against Syria and said its own experts found no "trace of chlorine or any other chemical substance used against civilians".

"One again, just like a year ago when the United States attacked Shayrat Airbase in Syria, a staged chemical attack against civilians was used as a pretext, this time in Douma, a Damascus suburb".

Trump said that he made a decision to take action because last weekend's action by Bashar Al-Assad "was a significant attack against his own people", and "not the actions of a man, they are crimes of a monster instead". "These are not the actions of a man; they are crimes of a monster instead", he said. Mission Accomplished! (sic),' he said on Twitter. A second witness said the Barzah district of Damascus had been hit in the strikes. However, Syrian air defense systems intercepted the majority of the attempted strikes, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

Officials said all weapons hit their marks, which were three facilities that were a part of President Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons program.

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Around 30 missiles were fired in the attack, and a third of them were shot down, the official said. The Nazi forces' opening attack against the USSR in 1941 was launched around 4 a.m.

Both Syria and its ally Russian Federation have said they would guarantee the safety and security of the OPCW mission - the first outside Damascus since 2014. State TV also stated that the most modern S-400 anti-missile air defense batteries "did not go into action, because none of the attacks fit the parameters of the S-400's capabilities".

"We do not seek conflict in Syria, but we can not allow such grievous violations of worldwide law", Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White told reporters.

Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also accused the US and its allies of attacking Syria at a time when there was a chance for peace.

He added: "To Iran and to Russian Federation I ask - what kind of regime wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?"

U.S. President Donald Trump said he ordered the U.S. military to launch precision strikes on the targets associated with the chemical weapon capabilities of the Syrian army.

The attack also drew criticism from many of Trump's most ardent supporters in the US. At the time, the Pentagon claimed that a fifth of Syria's operational aircraft were either damaged or destroyed.

The missile strikes took place as a team of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is in Damascus to probe the alleged chemical incident in Douma last week.



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