Russian Federation condemns US-led strikes, calls emergency United Nations meeting on Syria

May ready to bypass Parliament & approve UK military intervention in Syria – BBC

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday the air strikes against the Syrian regime were "necessary and appropriate" after the suspected chemical weapons attacks that killed dozens in Douma.

"A short time ago, I ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad", Trump said in a primetime televised speech to the nation.

Syria came under attack one week after a suspected chemical weapons assault hit the town of Douma near Damascus.

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

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the United States, Britain and France select targets specifically used by the Syrian regime's chemical weapons programs and great care was taken to avoid targets anywhere near Russian forces.

Haley said the US was prepared to sustain the pressure if the Syrian regime was "foolish enough to test our will".

Syrian state TV called the attacks a "blatant violation of global law and shows contempt for worldwide legitimacy".

"On the question of chemical weapons, there is a red line that must not be crossed, and if it should be crossed again, there will be another intervention", Le Drian said. They will lose years of research and development data, specialized equipment and expensive chemical weapons precursors.

Syrian state TV said the US, UK and France had launched attacks and said anti-aircraft units had responded.

Hours after his comments, the United Nations said its Security Council was set to meet Saturday at Russia's request to discuss the Syria airstrikes.

The European Commission's president said those who rely on chemical warfare must be held to account by the world. "The American President, the French President and the British Prime Minister are criminals, they will gain nothing from it". "They are crimes of a monster instead", Trump said.

"The facility which was struck is located some distance from any known concentrations of civilian habitation, reducing yet further any such risk", the MoD said in a statement.

Perhaps heeding the possibility of USA military action, Russian news agency Interfax reported that Russia's Navy will conduct military exercises off the coast of Syria on Wednesday.

The longer the Trump administration goes without a justification for what we're doing, there's a grave potential for ineffectual use of military force.

"Thank God this was less than we had feared".

"When he sees these sorts of things, they outrage him", said a source familiar with the internal debate at the White House.

They targeted a scientific research facility in the Damascus area, a chemical weapons storage facility west of the city of Homs and a third location that contained both a command post and a chemical weapons equipment storage facility in the same area, the United States military said. Still, he said that does little to dissuade Assad from resorting to barrel bombs and continuing to "slaughter" civilians, so long as he "doesn't violate worldwide norms".

But it said skies were clear over Aleppo in the north, Hasakeh in the northeast, and Latakia and Tartus along the western coast, where key Syrian and Russian military installations are located.

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