Syrians rally in defiance after airstrikes


The United States, the United Kingdom and France are pushing for an "irreversible" end to Syria's chemical weapons program, amid furious recriminations from Russian Federation over the effectiveness and legality of a wave of US-led missile strikes on Syrian targets.

The bombing, denounced by Damascus and its allies as an illegal act of aggression, was the biggest intervention by Western countries against Assad and his powerful ally Russian Federation.

The inspectors were due to try to visit the site of the suspected gas attack.

Speaking on British television, British Foreign Secretary (Minister) Boris Johnson threw his weight behind Prime Minister Theresa May's decision to take part in the attack, saying it was the right thing to do to deter further use of chemical weapons.

The Syrian army also announced that the Eastern Ghouta region, where Douma is situated, had been cleared of the last rebel fighters and was fully retaken.

Mr Trump said the combined operation would continue: "We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents".

"This legally questionable action risks escalating further, as U.S. defence secretary James Mattis has admitted, an already devastating conflict and therefore makes real accountability for war crimes and use of chemical weapons less, not more, likely". Moscow condemned the Western states for refusing to wait for their findings before attacking. White said there has been a 2,000 increase in Russian trolls on the internet, telling a different story than what reporters just heard at the Pentagon.

British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said that the legal basis used to support the British role was debatable, adding that he would only support action backed by the UN Security Council.

"If the previous attack was a slap on the wrist, this is perhaps a slap on the face but nothing that destabilizes the Assad regime in any fundamental way", said Ayham Kamel, head of Middle East and North Africa research at Eurasia Group. "The humanitarian intervention is a legally debatable concept at the present time", he said in an interview with the BBC on Sunday. Hours after a punishing US-led missile strike, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, dressed in a dark suit and tie, strode through the gates of his palace to start his day as usual.

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Syria released video of the wreckage of a bombed-out research lab, but also of Assad arriving at work as usual, with the caption "Morning of resilience" and there were no immediate reports of casualties.

My fellow Americans, 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. US commanders put their forces on higher alert for possible retaliation after the strikes.

Syrians took to the streets of the capital in small impromptu rallies, waving Syrian, Russian and Iranian flags while chanting their support for Assad. But they have refrained from targeting Assad's government, apart from a volley of US missiles past year.

Senior US officials said on Saturday they were confident both chlorine and sarin gas were used in the attack.

Dunford told reporters Friday that the U.S. sought targets that would limit any involvement with Russian military forces in Syria and reduce the risk of civilian casualties.

Syria fired roughly 40 missiles wildly into the air, after the US and allied missiles had already landed, McKenzie said.

British Tornado and Typhoon warplanes, American B-1 bombers and French Rafale jets also took part in the strikes.The strikes were the biggest foreign military action so far against Syria's regime.On Saturday Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron huddled by telephone to discuss their joint action."By working together, in a coordinated fashion, we can definitively prevent the Syrian regime from carrying out chemical attacks against its own people", Macron said on Twitter.May has faced a backlash from her domestic opposition for launching the strikes without consulting parliament, while opposition lawmakers in the USA warned Trump that any broader military campaign would require a well-formulated strategic vision and authorization from Congress.

President Barack Obama's failure to draw a real red line for Assad, and his appeasement of Iran and Russian Federation, left America's enemies on a roll.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis called on world leaders to renew efforts to bring peace to Syria, saying he was deeply troubled by their failure to agree on a joint plan to end the bloodshed.