The United States, with Britain and France, launched 105 missiles and bombs to destroy three of the Syria's chemical weapons sites, with no reported fatalities so far, in response to Assad regime's alleged chemical weapons attacks that killed more than 40 people.
The White House and Pentagon, a year ago and now, have not clearly outlined the US mission and strategy in Syria, as many reporters have pointed out, then and now.
Responding to the horrific images after a chemical attack on the people of Syria, the United States and its allies launched a missile attack Friday night.
Ahmad, a 25-year-old mechanic who had been displaced from Douma, told AFP the Western strikes were nevertheless too little, too late. Here are a few key distinctions.
"Those 100 plus missiles that were fired against Syria today will have the same effect on our country as last year's 58 tomahawks had: nothing", said Idriss from her home in the Mezzeh neighbourhood of the capital.
Once again, though, Assad's suspected use of chemical weapons prompted the president to play cop on the beat, however reluctantly.
When asked whether the USA should expect retaliation from Syrian or Russian forces for the attack, McKenzie stressed that military forces are preparing for the possibility.
Russia Condemns 'Treacherous And Insane' US Retaliation Strikes In Syria
- Russian President Putin says strike on Syria by U.S. and its allies will exacerbate humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. It urged the Western forces to also strike Assad's conventional weapons.
Disputing the Russian military's contention that Syrian air defense units downed 71 allied missiles, McKenzie said no USA or allies missiles were stopped.
Putin also denied that the Assad regime used chemical weapons in Douma, saying that Russian military experts had tested the area and found nothing. "It deters further attacks; it degrades the ability of the Syrian regime to conduct new attacks; and it's a way to support the ban on chemical weapons".
Trump spoke from the White House Friday night.
The narrowly targeted pre-dawn operation, which took aim at three chemical weapons facilities, earned quick scorn from Russian Federation, but Moscow's push for condemnation of the strikes at the UN Security Council fell far short. And despite bluster about global law at the United Nations (an obscene observation, given the Kremlin's craven embrace of Assad, who should be prosecuted for war crimes), it appears that the two nuclear-armed superpowers will avoid any direct military confrontation.
"We thank the Croatian government for supporting the actions of the U.S, U.K and France against the use of chemical weapons", U.S. Ambassador W. Robert Kohorst said in a statement. "No local resident confirmed the chemical attack". "We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents", Mr Trump said in a televised address as the attacks were being carried out.
The report showed people waving Syrian flags, alongside those of Iran and Russia- the main allies of Syrian President Bashar Assad during years of the country's conflict - in the face of what many called "limited" or even "failed" strikes created to punish Assad for his alleged use of chemical weapons.
Hours before Trump's announcement on Friday, 88 Republican and Democratic members of Congress signed a letter imploring the president to consult Congress prior to engaging United States armed forces.
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"The OPCW has proven in two reports that this building and the centre as a whole are empty and do not produce any chemical weapons".
"These are crimes of a monster", said Trump, adding that Bashar al-Assad's "recent attack... are a direct result of Russia's failure..."
The US was also anxious that the strikes would prompt a confrontation with Syria's biggest military ally: Russian Federation.
The Russian military claimed Syrian air defense systems had intercepted 71 Western missiles, though the Pentagon flatly dismissed the claim and said all missiles hit their targets.
While acknowledging that Assad may retain some chemical weapons capabilities, the Pentagon proclaimed that the action struck at "the heart" of Assad's program.
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