Haley warns USA “locked and loaded” if Syria uses chemical weapons again

Apr 24, 2018
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U.S., and its allies pounded Syria with air strikes early on Saturday in response to a poison gas attack that killed dozens of people last week, in the biggest intervention by Western powers against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Why the US indecision?

“All precautions must be taken to minimize harm to civilians in any military action”, Raed Jarrar, advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa at rights watchdog Amnesty International USA said in a statement. Those aren’t the only difference between the strikes. Russian Federation and Syria have said there was no evidence of a chemical weapons attack.

A senior official in a pro-Assad regional alliance told Reuters that “all military bases were evacuated a few days ago” after an early warning from Russian Federation about the strikes. “The strikes don’t alter that reality”, Ross said.

The targets included a scientific research facility near Damascus, and two chemical weapons facilities outside the city of Homs, the United States military said, though reports said the buildings had been evacuated in recent days.

The U.S. military says the Barzeh complex in Damascus was a “center for the research, development, production and testing of chemical and biological weapons”.

The Pentagon said Saturday that it believes the airstrikes “attacked the heart of the Syrian chemical weapons program”, significantly degrading Syria’s ability to use such weapons again. The Pentagon says destroying the facility sets the Syrian chemical weapons program back several years.

The Pentagon on Saturday echoed the President’s assessment. “We know a chemical weapon was used”. “But we were very confident about the decision we’ve made”.

According to Russian Federation, 103 missiles were fired and 71 shot down, Dewey said. He is eager to pull the last 2,000 US troops out of Syria.

“What they’re saying, that there were chemical weapons or not chemical weapons, we welcome the delegation, to come and see”, Mohamed Fayez, a Damascus resident, told AP.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the country’s objectives had been met and that no new strikes were planned at this point but promised to retaliate if the red line on chemical weapons was once again crossed. “The Syrian people don’t have much left to lose”, he said.

Jennifer Cafarella, a senior analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, noted that the Syrian-Russian-Iranian coalition and its war effort in Syria “poses a strategic problem for the United States beyond the use of banned weapons in war crimes against civilians”. And one question that remains – despite the differences – is the level of impact.

“I got out from Douma after the last chemical attack and until today I am suffering from the effects of inhaling the poisonous gas”.

In the meantime, the United Nations World Health Organization is seeking evidence that chemical attack occurred.

“A perfectly executed strike last night”.

This year’s message wasn’t too different.

In Syria, government supporters appeared relieved that the airstrikes were not more extensive.

■ June 6, 2017: USA airstrikes hit pro-Syrian government forces who approached a camp in southern Syria where US-backed Syrian forces and U.S. advisers were training as part of the anti-Islamic State effort.

“Our mission stays the same – it’s to defeat ISIS“.

“We specifically identified these targets to mitigate the risk of Russian forces being involved”, General Dunford told reporters, adding the USA military advised Russia of airspace that would be used in the strike but did not “pre-notify them”.

The Trump administration said the same thing previous year.

Syrian state TV said the US, UK and France had launched attacks and said anti-aircraft units had responded. “There has been no change in that status”, Tillerson said at the time.

Smoke billows in the town of Douma in Syria's Eastern Ghouta

 

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