Trump Launches Airstrikes on Syria; Russia, Iran Warn of Consequences

Trump Launches Airstrikes on Syria; Russia, Iran Warn of Consequences

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

Russian President Vladimir Putin was quoted by Sputnik news agency as stressing Wednesday on a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to respect Syria's sovereignty and called for "refraining from any actions that might further destabilize the situation in this country and pose a threat to its security".

Speaking during a meeting with high-ranking political and military figures, Khamenei added: "The American president says he attacked Syria to fight against chemical weapons".

"These are not the actions of a man", Trump said of last weekend's attack in a televised address from the White House Diplomatic Room.

By launching strikes without prior approval from parliament, May dispensed with a non-binding constitutional convention dating back to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

China said it was "opposed to the use of force" in global relations. A fact-finding team of inspectors from the global chemical weapons watchdog was in Damascus and had been expected to head to the town of Douma on Saturday, scene of the suspected chemical weapons attack that killed more than 40 people.

"While this action is specifically about deterring the Syrian regime, it will also send a clear signal to anyone else who believes they can use chemical weapons with impunity", May said.

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Russian officials alleged quickly after last Saturday's suspected attack that the images of victims in Douma were fake. Trump has singled out Russian President Vladimir Putin for his support of Assad, as well as Iran.

The Syrian government has repeatedly denied any use of banned weapons.

The US used Tomahawk cruise missiles in its strikes in Syria, which were fired at multiple targets in the country, a US official said. It called for a political solution and a "return to the framework of global law".

"A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now under way". Tehran's strategic regional policy of supporting Assad during seven years of civil war has cost the clerical regime a fortune.

Trump said he was prepared to sustain the response until the Assad government stopped its use of chemical weapons. Assad's recent attack and today's response are the direct result of Russia's failure to keep that promise. For a variety of reasons, none of the three want to see the USA maintain any foothold in Syria - Russia because it wants to carve out its own sphere of influence in the Middle East while diminishing American power in the region, Iran because it views the U.S.as a hostile adversary working with the Sunni states to contain its regional hegemonic ambitions, and Turkey because it feels betrayed by American support for Syrian Kurdish groups aligned with Turkey's Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) nemesis.

"U.S, allies will not gain any achievements from crimes in Syria".

"Today's dawn attack on Syria is a crime".