US, Britain and France launch air strikes in Syria

US, Britain and France launch air strikes in Syria

After a unusual process that didn't seem to involve a meeting of the president's national security advisors, the US and its allies began launching airstrikes against Syria on Friday night in retaliation for the alleged chemical weapon attack which killed more than 40 people in Douma last week.

His window for military action could be narrowing, with inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons expected to arrive in Syria to begin work on Saturday, following an invitation from Damascus.

He added that the facts and the responsibility of the Syrian regime were beyond doubt. The sky looked orange over eastern Damascus apparently as a result of fires caused by the missiles hitting Syria.

President Donald Trump is reiterating his call to have other nations take on more of the burden in Syria.

Asked about Trump's tweet about an impending attack on Syria, former Defense Secretary William Cohen, who ran the Pentagon for President Bill Clinton, said on CNN that it "compromises the mission somewhat".

Mattis said options would be discussed with Trump at a meeting of his National Security Council on Thursday afternoon.

Britain's ambassador to the United Nations Karen Pierce angrily rejected the Russian claims that the UK staged the chemical weapons attack on Douma."This is grotesque, it is a blatant lie, it is the worst piece of fake news we've yet seen from the Russian propaganda machine", she said.

In London, Theresa May issued a statement about British participation in the air strikes.

The U.S. struck the base with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles targeting runways and hangars. He said the airstrikes were launched against several sites that helped provide Assad's ability to create chemical weapons.

It said the military action was "proportionate" and "specifically aimed at degrading the Assad regime's ability to use chemical weapons and deterring further such appalling acts".

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned such an attack carried the risk of spinning out of control, suggesting caution ahead of a decision on how to respond to an attack against civilians last weekend that USA officials are increasingly certain involved the use of banned chemical weapons.

"This is not about intervening in a civil war".

The office of the French President posted a video of a squadron of French military jets taking off to launch their part of the strikes.

May said, "We can not allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalized".

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"After midnight, 85 buses left Eastern Ghouta carrying 4,000 people, both fighters and civilians", the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring organization said.

On Friday, Trump said he remained committed to having other countries step up in the region so that US troops can come home after defeating the Islamic State.

Less than a month ago, Trump said he wanted to bring U.S troops home from Syria.

Early Saturday UN Secretary General António Guterres called on members of the Security Council to show restraint to avoid escalating the conflict.

"The attack took place on Saturday, we know for a fact that it was a chemical weapon", spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

"One must be really exceptional to strike Syria's capital when the country finally got a chance for a peaceful future", she wrote.

President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that he hoped common sense would prevail and that the situation would stabilise.

"A pre-designed scenario is being implemented".

Russia's US embassy released a statement warning that the airstrikes will "not be left without consequences". Former Pentagon and White House security official Julieanne Smith pointed out on Twitter Friday night that neither needed to restrict their responses to Syria and could threaten US forces and interests elsewhere around the globe if they chose.

The president also blasted Iran and Russian Federation for supporting Assad's regime, particularly in the wake of the suspected chemical attack. Analysts will be watching claims about what was destroyed, and what Russian Federation, and also Iran, choose to do in response. A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now underway.

The Russian ambassador, Vasily A. Nebenzya, accused the United States and its allies of reckless Middle East warmongering by threatening Syria with military force.

"We used the normal deconfliction channel to deconflict airspace, we did not coordinate targets", Dunford said.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Maj.

We are acting together with our American and French allies.