Syria strikes punitive but not game-changing

Getty								Donald Trump

Trump announced from the White House on Friday night that the U.S., in coordination with France and the United Kingdom, had launched strikes on Syria following a week of threats of retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians by the Assad regime.

Russia's draft text for a resolution "condemns the aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic by the USA and its allies in violation of global law and the UN Charter".

"Horrific as Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons has been, these types of weapons are not what gives Assad his decisive advantages on the battlefield", he said.

Britain too defended the strikes, with Britain's United Nations ambassador saying Saturday that it was "both right and legal" to launch strikes to alleviate humanitarian suffering.

In a statement issued by the Kremlin, the Russian leader says Moscow is calling an emergency meeting of the United Nations' Security Council over the strike launched by the U.S., Britain and France.

"We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents", the USA president said in a televised address.

The Pentagon repeated Saturday that the President has the authority under the Constitution to defend U.S. interests, but what happens next is up to the Assad regime and Russian Federation. "This time, our allies and we have struck harder", said Defense Secretary James Mattis. Still, French Defense Minister Florence Parly told reporters early Saturday the country was not seeking a military escalation and had, with its allies, "made sure that the Russians were warned ahead".

Mr Trump said the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons on Douma was a "significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very bad regime".

"The mission is a success".

Russia, whose forces are bolstering Syria's government, had threatened military retaliation if any Russian personnel had been hit.

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It was the 12th time Russian Federation has vetoed a resolution concerning Syria and sixth veto related to chemical weapons. The group is the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1997, which has been signed by 192 member states.

Why would the United States, France and Britain launch a strike so circumscribed that it is unlikely to accomplish anything but risk further engagement with Russian Federation?

Nebenzia continuously referred to the "illegal" actions of the U.S. against Syria, claiming that Washington's "illicit aims" were part of its "mendacious" foreign policy pursuits that works to "undermine the UNSC", adding its actions is the worst kind of "hooliganism". He added that the USA expects the Syrian government and its allies to conduct a "significant disinformation campaign", which the Pentagon would rebut with additional information Saturday morning.

Following an invitation from Damascus, inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are expected to arrive in Syria over the weekend to investigate the reported attack. Russian Federation said its experts found no trace of chemical agents. "The objective of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons". A Security Council diplomat said the body would meet later Saturday.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced the military action from the White House, saying the three allies had "marshaled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality".

The military campaign was in response to a devastating chemical attack in the rebel-controlled Damascus suburb of Douma, which killed dozens of people earlier this month.

While much of the world is in step with the actions of the Trump administration, some believe he skirted global law which promoted the hashtag. "They are crimes of a monster instead".

The strikes were the biggest foreign military action so far against Syria's regime.

The targets included a Syrian center in the greater Damascus area for the research, development, production and testing of chemical and biological weaponry as well as a chemical weapons storage facility near the city of Homs.

In the days between the attack in Douma and the US-led response, Washington and Moscow clashed repeatedly in duelling statements and debates.

Trump tweeted about what he calls "a perfectly executed strike" against Syria.