The United States, the United Kingdom and France launched airstrikes against chemical weapons facilities in Syria early Saturday morning in retaliation against the Syrian regime for the alleged use of chemical weapons against its own people.
The US actions include a cruise missile strike on a Syrian airbase previous year after an apparent sarin attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun killed almost 100 people.
At the Security Council meeting in New York, Russian ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said that Russian and Syrian forces are attacking terrorists, not civilians, and that overnight attack by the USA and its European allies had worsened an “already catastrophic humanitarian situation”.
Jean-Claude Juncker said the suspected use of poison gas last week in the Syrian city of Douma was – as he puts it – a “heinous chemical weapons attack carried out by the Syrian regime”.
Trump praised Western air strikes against the Syrian government on Saturday as “perfectly executed”, and added “Mission Accomplished“.
“Any unilateral military action that bypasses the Security Council runs contrary to the goal and principles of the United Nations charter”, Hua said, calling for world powers to resolve the Syria conflict through dialogue and negotiation.
Taking to Twitter, the US President told the country that they “could not have had a better result” and said it was “Mission Accomplished!” – the same phrase George W Bush used after his invasion of Iraq in 2003.
“Last year, President Trump made it clear that using chemical weapons crossed a red line”.
The US Air Force fired air-launched cruise missiles from B-1 bombers, and French and British planes also shot cruise missiles toward the targets.
May said the strikes were “limited and targeted” to “degrade the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons capability” while minimizing civilian casualties.
French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that a large part of Syria’s “chemical arsenal” had been destroyed in the strikes.
Pentagon officials said the missiles first struck a scientific research centre near Damascus that develops, produces and tests chemical and biological weapons.
Russia has condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the attack against Syria, where Russian military personnel are assisting the legitimate government in its counterterrorism efforts. And also Russia’s been looking at it as essentially as its toehold into the Middle East for extending its sort of power base more regionally.
Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White defended Trump’s victory lap at a Saturday briefing.
“One strike does not make for a strategy in an extended campaign to put pressure on Assad and Putin not to do this again”, he said. “It is not about regime change”, said Theresa May, Britain’s prime minister.
She stressed: “This is not about intervening in a civil war”.