Monday, 23 April, 2018

UN Security Council Rejects Russian Resolution Condemning Syrian Strikes

A British Tornado fighter-bomber prepares to play its part in the massive attack A British Tornado fighter-bomber prepares to play its part in the massive attack
Ebony Burgess | 16 April, 2018, 11:57

The rally came after the United States, France and Britain launched missile attacks on Syria yesterday following reports of alleged chemical weapons use in Douma near the capital city of Damascus on April 7.

Trump's use of that last phrase harks back to President George W. Bush's premature declaration of victory in Iraq, where USA troops remain 15 years after the initial US military engagement there - a mistake some critics say they fear Trump might repeat on Syria.

The ambassador reiterated that it wasn't an empty threat because when Trump draws a red line, he enforces that red line. She says the USA was confident that they had "significantly degraded his ability to use chemical weapons ever again".

Defense Secretary James Mattis gave a briefing on the actions in Syria and said the Syrian regime has continued to ignore worldwide law and use chemical weapons in attacks murdering woman and children and other innocent civilians. The wave of strikes represents the most significant attack against President Bashar al-Assad's government by Western powers in seven years of Syria's civil war. In 2017, the US launched missiles against Syria following reports of a sarin gas attack.

Some other member states are unhappy with a statement issued on behalf of the European Council on Saturday, which appeared to declare the EU's wholehearted support for the operation by the US, France and Britain.

In Assad's view, the airstrikes that were launched in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack by Syrian forces on the town of Douma will unify the country.

Air strikes by the allies on Saturday hit three targets that Western officials said were linked to chemical weapons development in the Damascus and Homs areas.

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Western powers blamed President Bashar al-Assad, but Syria and its ally Russian Federation categorically denied the claims and accused the West of "fabricating" the incident to justify military action.

He said at least one chemical was used - chlorine, which has legitimate industrial uses and had not previously triggered a USA military response.

USA envoy Nikki Haley said the strikes were "justified, legitimate and proportionate".

"Assad's commitment of atrocities using chemical weapons against innocent civilians can not be tolerated by civilized nations", said Rep. Newhouse.

"President Bashar al-Assad would never use chemical weapons on his own people".

Bashar Jaafari, Syria's envoy to the United Nations, said the US, UK and France were "liars, spoilers and hypocrites" who exploited the United Nations "to pursue your policy of interference and colonialism".

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