US, UK and France launch air strikes on Syria

Multiple targets have been bombed in Syria targeting the alleged chemical weapons site. Trump said the country is willing to sustain the attack until the Assad regime stops using chemical weapons

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US President Donald Trump has ordered a military attack against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, joining allies Britain and France in launching missile strikes for what Western nations said was the deliberate gassing of Syrian civilians.

The coordinated strike on Friday marked the second time in a year that Trump has used force against Bashar Assad, who US officials believe has continued to test the West's willingness to accept gruesome chemical attacks, The Washington Post reported.

Trump announced the strikes in an address to the nation on Friday evening. "The purpose of our action tonight is to establish a strong deterrent," he said, against the production and use of chemical weapons, describing the issue as vital to national security.

In a televised address from the White House, Trump said that the US and its allies intended to “sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of chemical weapons.”. The president said the attack involved “precision strikes on targets associated with chemical weapons facilities”.

The US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, on Saturday, stated that the strikes were a “one-time shot”, while adding that there might be more attacks “should he (Bashar Assad) decide to use more chemical weapons in the future”.

Confirming the participation of France in the attack, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, said the French target would only be Syria’s chemical weapons facilities.

Trump asked both Russia and Iran, backers of Assad, "what kind of nation wants to be associated" with mass murder and suggested that someday the US might be able to "get along" with both if they change their policies.

According to reports, explosions were reported in Damascus moments after Trump finished finished his seven-minute address. Syrian television reported a research centre linked to suspected chemical weapons development and several air bases were the initial targets.

The attack has come just before a planned visit by inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to the site of Saturday’s chemical weapons attacks

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Published: 14 Apr 2018, 8:08 AM