Trump claims success in Syria, but chemical weapons remain

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Saturday declared "Mission Accomplished" for a US-led allied missile attack on Syria's chemical guns programme, however the Pentagon said the pummeling of 3 chemical-related facilities left enough others intact to enable the Assad authorities to use banned guns towards civilians if it chooses.

"A perfectly executed strike," Trump tweeted after US, French and British warplanes and ships launched greater than 100 missiles nearly unopposed through Syrian air defenses. "Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!"



His choice of phrases recalled a equivalent declare related to President George W Bush following the US-led invasion of Iraq. Bush addressed sailors aboard a Navy send in May 2003 alongside a "Mission Accomplished" banner, simply weeks ahead of it changed into obvious that Iraqis had organized an insurgency that tied down US forces for years.

The nighttime Syria assault was moderately restricted to reduce civilian casualties and steer clear of direct war with Syria's key best friend, Russia, however confusion arose over the level to which Washington warned Moscow prematurely. The Pentagon said it gave no specific caution. The US ambassador in Moscow, John Huntsman, said in a video, "Before we took action, the United States communicated with" Russia to "reduce the danger of any Russian or civilian casualties."

Dana W White, the executive Pentagon spokeswoman, said that to her knowledge no person within the Defense Department communicated with Moscow prematurely, rather than the acknowledged use of a military-to-military hotline that has automatically helped reduce the chance of US-Russian collisions or confrontations in Syrian airspace. Officials said this did not come with giving Russian advance understand of where or when allied airstrikes would happen.

Russia has navy forces, including air defenses, in numerous spaces of Syria to fortify President Bashar Assad in his long warfare towards anti-government rebels.

Russia and Iran known as the use of power through the United States and its allies a "military crime" and "act of aggression." The UN Security Council met to debate the strikes, however rejected a Russian solution calling for condemnation of the "aggression" through the three Western allies.

Trump's UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, told the consultation that the president has made it clear that if Assad uses poison gas once more, "the United States is locked and loaded."

Assad denies he has used chemical guns, and the Trump administration has yet to provide hard proof of what it says induced the allied missiles attack: a chlorine gas attack on civilians in Douma on April 7. The US says it suspects that sarin gas also was used.

"Good souls will not be humiliated," Assad tweeted, while loads of Syrians collected in Damascus, the capital, where they flashed victory signs and waved flags in scenes of defiance after the early morning barrage.

The strikes "successfully hit every target," White told newshounds on the Pentagon. The navy said there were three objectives: the Barzah chemical guns analysis and development website online within the Damascus area, a chemical guns storage facility near Homs and a chemical guns "bunker" a few miles from the second goal.

Although officials said the singular goal was Assad's chemical guns capacity, his air power, including helicopters he allegedly has used to drop chemical guns on civilians, were spared. In a US navy motion a year ago in line with a sarin gas attack, the Pentagon said missiles took out nearly 20 percent of the Syrian air power.

As of Saturday, neither Syria nor its Russian or Iranian allies retaliated, Pentagon officials said.

The US-led operation gained huge Western fortify. The NATO alliance gave its complete backing; NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in Brussels that the attack was about ensuring that chemical guns can't be used with impunity.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel known as the attack "necessary and appropriate."

In his televised address from the White House on Friday night, Trump said the US was prepared to sustain financial, diplomatic and military drive on Assad until the Syrian leader ends what Trump known as a prison pattern of killing his own other folks with across the world banned chemical guns. That did not mean navy strikes would proceed. In reality, Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said no further assaults were deliberate.

Asked about Trump's "Mission Accomplished" assertion, White said it pointed to the successful targeting of 3 Syrian chemical guns sites. What occurs subsequent, she said, is up to Assad and to his Russian and Iranian allies.

Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, director of the Joint Staff on the Pentagon, said the allied airstrikes "took out the heart" of Assad's chemical guns arsenal. He said the missiles hit the "sweet spot," doing the expected degree of wear and tear while minimizing the accidental unencumber of toxic fumes which may be destructive to nearby civilians.

When pressed, he acknowledged that some unspecified portion of Assad's chemical hands infrastructure was not targeted.

"There is still a residual element of the Syrian program that is out there," McKenzie said, adding, "I'm not going to say they're going to be unable to continue to conduct a chemical attack in the future. I suspect, however they'll think long and hard about it."

Assad's Barzah analysis and development middle in Damascus was destroyed, McKenzie said. "It does not exist anymore."

A former officer in Syria's chemical program, Adulsalam Abdulrazek, said Saturday the joint US, British, and French strikes hit "parts of but not the heart" of the program. He said the strikes were not going to curb the federal government's ability to provide or release new assaults. Speaking from rebel-held northern Syria, Abdulrazek told The Associated Press there were most likely 50 warehouses in Syria that stored chemical guns ahead of the program was dismantled in 2013.

Vice President Mike Pence, in Peru for a gathering of regional leaders, said "there will be a price to pay" involving navy power if Syrian chemical guns are used once more.

Disputing the Russian navy's rivalry that Syrian air protection units downed 71 allied missiles, McKenzie said no US or allies missiles were stopped. He said Syria's air defenses were ineffective and that many of the greater than 40 surface-to-air missiles fired through the Syrians were launched after the allied attack was over. He said the US knew of no civilians killed through allied missiles.


McKenzie said 105 US and allied missiles were fired, of which 66 were Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from aboard three US Navy ships and one Navy submarine. US, British and French attack plane, including two US Air Force B-1B strategic bombers, launched stealthy, long-range missiles from out of doors Syrian airspace, officials said.


A world chemical war watchdog crew, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, said its fact-finding mission would move as deliberate in Douma.


Russian leader Vladimir Putin reaffirmed the Kremlin's skepticism about the allies' Douma declare, announcing Russian navy mavens had found no trace of the attack. He criticized the US and its allies for launching the strike without looking forward to global inspectors to complete their consult with to the area.


But British Prime Minister Theresa May said there was no doubt the Syrian authorities used a barrel bomb _ large packing containers packed with gas, explosives and scraps of steel — to deliver the chemicals at Douma. "No other group" may have carried out that attack, May said, adding that the allies' use of power was "right and legal."
Trump claims success in Syria, but chemical weapons remain Trump claims success in Syria, but chemical weapons remain Reviewed by kailash soni on April 15, 2018 Rating: 5
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