US and allies launch strikes on Syria chemical weapons sites

Media captionUS prepared to “sustain” strikes until Syrian regime stops regulating chemical agents – Trump

The US, UK and France have inebriated mixed supervision targets in Syria in an early morning operation targeting purported chemical weapons sites.

The strikes are in response to a suspected chemical conflict on a Syrian city of Douma final week.

Explosions strike a capital, Damascus, as good as dual locations circuitously a city of Homs, a Pentagon said.

Russia’s envoy to a US responded by observant a conflict on a fan “will not be left though consequences”.

“A total operation with a armed army of France and a United Kingdom is now underway,” President Trump pronounced in an residence to a republic from a White House during about 21:00 internal time (02:00 BST).

A ‘one-time shot’

At a Pentagon lecture shortly afterwards, Gen Joseph Dunford listed 3 targets that had been struck:

  • A systematic investigate trickery in Damascus, allegedly connected to a prolongation of chemical and biological weapons
  • A chemical weapons storage trickery west of Homs
  • A chemical weapons apparatus storage and an critical authority post, also circuitously Homs

Syrian state radio pronounced supervision army had shot down some-more than a dozen missiles.

Media captionFootage showed missiles in a night sky in Syria

US Secretary of Defence James Mattis told reporters there were no reports of US waste in a operation.

In his progressing address, President Trump had said: “We are prepared to means this response until a Syrian regime stops a use of taboo chemical agents.”

But Secretary Mattis pronounced that “right now, this is a one-time shot”. Gen Dunford reliable a call of strikes had ended.

  • Syria: What can Western troops impasse achieve?
  • Syria ‘chemical attack’: What we know

UK strikes in Homs

Gen Dunford pronounced a US had privately identified targets that would “mitigate” a risk of Russian casualties. But a Pentagon pronounced that Russia – that has army on a belligerent in Syria in support of a supervision – had not been given allege notice of a targets.

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UK Prime Minister Theresa May reliable British involvement, observant there was “no practicable choice to a use of force”.

But she also pronounced a strikes were not about “regime change”.

Media captionMay: ‘We are behaving together with a allies’

UK strikes carried out by 4 Tornado jets strike one of a targets mentioned by a Pentagon – a troops site circuitously a city of Homs that is believed to have housed predecessor materials for chemical weapons, according to a UK method of defence.

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French President Emmanuel Macron also reliable his country’s appearance in a operation.

“Dozens of men, women and children were massacred with chemical weapons,” he pronounced of a Douma occurrence a week ago – adding that “the red line had been crossed”.

Media captionUnverified video shows children being treated after a purported gas attack

Analysis: Will this time be different?

Jonathan Marcus, counterclaim match

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This conflict was some-more poignant than a US strike opposite a Syrian atmosphere bottom a small over a year ago, though during initial steer seems some-more singular than President Trump’s tongue might have suggested.

Last year some 59 missiles were fired. This time a small over double that series were used.

The strikes are over for now, though there was a transparent warning that if a Assad regime resorts to chemical weapons again afterwards serve strikes might good follow.

Care was taken, contend a Americans, to equivocate both Syrian and “foreign” – for that review Russian – casualties.

But a elemental questions remain. Will President Assad be deterred?

Last year’s US strike unsuccessful to change his behaviour. This time, will it be any different?

Syria has denied carrying out a Douma conflict and a ally, Russia, had warned that Western troops strikes would risk starting a war.

Double a missiles

A US central told Reuters news organisation that Tomahawk journey missiles were being used opposite mixed locations in Syria.

Secretary Mattis also pronounced a scale of a strikes was about “double” what was launched in Apr 2017 after a chemical conflict on a city of Khan Sheikhoun that killed some-more than 80 people.

The strikes were systematic “on targets compared with a chemical weapons capabilities” of a Syrian government, Mr Trump said.

The US boss pronounced a purpose was “to settle a clever halt opposite a production, widespread and use of chemical weapons”.

“These are not a actions of a man, they are a crimes of a beast instead,” he pronounced of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

British-based monitoring group, a Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, suggested that some-more targets than a 3 listed by a Pentagon had been hit.

It pronounced western army had struck “scientific investigate centres, several troops bases, and a bases of a Republican Guard and Fourth Division in a collateral Damascus and around it.”

One Damascus proprietor told BBC News: “It was mayhem above us.”

“I saw some-more than 20 anti-air missiles launched. They’d fly unequivocally high afterwards start weaving across, like they were following their target.

“I didn’t see a journey missiles, though we saw some descending waste nearby.”