Pentagon Says 'Mission Accomplished' With Missile Strikes On Syria
16 April, 2018, 11:54 | Author: Diane Mills
A survivor of a Syrian gas attack in 2013 now living in the U.S.as a refugee thanked President Donald Trump on Saturday for "showing true leadership and bravery" in Friday's strike on Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons operations.
"When our president draws a red line, the president enforces the red line", she said, a clear rebuke of Mr. Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, who in 2013 declined to retaliate against Syria after a chemical weapons attack even though he had called the use of such weapons "a red line".
Vice President Mike Pence also said Trump carried out the strikes armed with USA intelligence that at "a minimum it was the chemical weapon of chlorine", noting investigators still might prove sarin was used. The Western states have accused forces of President Bashar Assad of an attack with the use of chemicals in Duma.
U.S. envoy Haley also said that if Trump draws the red line, he enforces it and the USA will continue to sustain pressure on Syria. She says the US was confident that they had "significantly degraded his ability to use chemical weapons ever again".
Following up on President Donald Trump's threat, the USA - along with allies Britain and France - rained cruise missiles at three locations in Syria on Saturday, the biggest strike by the West in the seven years of the war in Syria.
All three allies fired 22 weapons at the Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons Storage Site just west of Homs, and the US military launched seven missiles at the Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons Bunker, McKenzie said.
The Pentagon says Syria launched 40 surface-to-air missiles in response to the coalition attack.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was set to begin its investigation inside the Eastern Ghouta town of Douma on Saturday, just hours after the strikes.
One site hit by the barrage of missiles was the Bazrah Research Center, a scientific research center on the outskirts of Damascus.
The site west of the city of Homs was an alleged underground chemical weapons storage facility, doubling as a command post.
But France says it has conclusive proof that "chemical weapons were used and that they were used by Assad's regime".
French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement that a target of the strike was the Syrian government's "clandestine chemical arsenal". "I think everyone knows that we sent a strong message, and our hope is that they listen to it", she told CBS News on Sunday.
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