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US launches strikes on Syria — Trump

18 Abril 2018, 04:09 | Bibiana Flor

Brian Knowlton AFP File

Brian Knowlton AFP  File

President Vladimir Putin's top adviser, Vladislav Surkov said in an article released earlier this week that Russia has abandoned its centuries-long aspirations of integrating into the West and is bracing for a new era of "geopolitical loneliness".

The rest of the world is braced for an expected strike by the US and its allies against Syria, as Trump taunts Moscow with the prowess of American weaponry and a Kremlin envoy warns that Russia could shoot US missiles down.

It's a moment when the chaos, wild rhetoric and crushing of presidential norms on which Trump has anchored his presidency could begin to have real-world consequences with constitutional principles and lives on the line.

"I have an impression that Americans' survival instincts have grown numb, if not vanished completely", Buzhinsky said. "It's an attack on our country, in a true sense". As permanent members of the council, Russia and the US both have the power to veto.

"The intelligence provided certainly paints a different picture", Sanders said.

Trump appeared to be responding to comments from Alexander Zasypkin, the Russian ambassador to Lebanon, who told the Hezbollah-run al-Manar TV station: "If there is a strike by the Americans then. the missiles will be downed and even the sources from which the missiles were fired".

"Never said when an attack on Syria would take place", Trump tweeted early Thursday.

"I don't want to talk about a specific attack that is not yet in the offing".

WASHINGTON/LONDON/MOSCOW, April 12 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump cast doubt on Thursday over the timing of his threatened strike on Syria in response to a reported poison gas attack, while France said it had proof of Syria's guilt but needed to gather more information.

This is raising criticism about today's announce that he's literally doing that very thing, although US officials have effectively been telegraphing an attack on Syria since the weekend. He added on a combative note that the situation offers a "good chance to test them in conditions of real combat". Several dozen people choked to death, while others suffering from breathing problems and burning eyes sought medical attention.

The Trump administration has ramped up sanctions against Russia and expelled dozens of diplomats.

The US-led operation won broad Western support.

Under a 2013 agreement for which Russia was a guarantor, Syria was to have eliminated all its chemical weapons, but it has used chlorine and perhaps other chemicals since then.

The attack has drawn worldwide condemnation.

Instead a deal was brokered by Russia in which the Syrian Government were to hand over their chemical weapon stockpiles for destruction and join the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

That did not mean military strikes would continue. It was the base where helicopters were said to take off in the alleged chemical attack. "These are not the actions of a man; they are crimes of a monster instead", Trump said.

Tonight, Russia's Ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, urged the US and allies to show restraint and said the "immediate priority is to avert the danger of war".

"Specifically, the Government needs to explain who is strengthened if and when Assad is weakened".

When pressed, he acknowledged some unspecified portion of Mr Assad's chemical arms infrastructure was not targeted. "It is not about regime change". "It does not exist anymore".

The French leader previously said any strikes would target the Syrian government's "chemical capabilities".

"In particular, there were signs of severe irritation of mucous membranes, respiratory failure and disruption to central nervous systems of those exposed", it said. It was not immediately clear whether that visit would delay or avert U.S. or allied military action.

U.S. Defense officials told CNN that air-launched cruise missiles were used in the strikes.

"The raising of a regime flag over a building in the town of Douma signified control over this town and consequently over Eastern Ghouta as a whole", Major General Yury Yevtushenko was quoted as saying Thursday by the Interfax news agency.

Jaysh al-Islam released their regime prisoners and boarded buses for what civilians described as a harrowing 30-hour journey to rebel territory just 400 kilometres away. He said this was believed to be the main site of Syrian sarin and precursor chemical production equipment.



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