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US, UK And France Launch Air Strikes On Syria Chemical Weapons Sites In Damascus

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| April 14 , 2018 , 16:05 IST

The US in a joint operation with UK and France launched an air strike targeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons capabilities at Damascus, after a poison gas attack reportedly killed at least 60 people on April 7.

This came after US president Donald Trump ordered missile strikes against Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack in the rebel-held Damascus. The US president said the precision strikes targeted chemical weapon sites in Syria.

According to the reports, at least six loud explosions were heard in Damascus and smoke was seen rising over the city.

ALSO READ: WHO 'Demands Immediate Unhindered Access' To Suspected Chemical Attack Site In Syria 

Syrian state TV said the army's air defences were confronting an attack by the United States, France and Britain.

Trump in a televised address from the White House said, "A short time ago, I ordered the United States Armed Forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad."

Trump added, "To Iran and to Russia, I ask, what kind of nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children."

Referring to Assad, he further said, "These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster instead."

British Prime Minister Theresa May reportedly said the decision to launch missiles on Syria was taken as there was no other "alternative path".

She said, “This is the first time as prime minister that I have had to take the decision to commit our armed forces in combat and it is not a decision I have taken lightly.”

May added, "I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain’s national interest. We cannot allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised within Syria, on the streets of the UK, or anywhere else in our world."

ALSO READ: Big Price To Pay For Syria Chemical Attack, Says Trump, But Denies Missile Strike On Syrian Air Base 

French President Emmanuel Macron said his country launched a military operation against Syrian government’s “clandestine chemical arsenal”. He said a “red line has been crossed” after the chemical attack and that there is no doubt that the Syrian government is responsible.

As per reports, after the airstrikes, the Syrian Presidency tweeted, “Good souls will not be humiliated."

Russian ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov warned that there would be consequences for the attacks, adding that it was not acceptable to insult Russia's president.

Antonov tweeted, "A pre-designed scenario is being implemented. Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences.

The air strike is also being criticised by several US leaders who are of the opinion that it would strengthen the terrorist groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard tweeted, "The people of Syria desperately want to live in peace & do not want their country to be taken over by genocidal terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS."

She added, "If we are truly concerned about the suffering of the Syrian people & bringing about peace & stability so refugees can return home & begin to rebuild their lives, then we should work for peace, end our policy of interventionist regime change wars and stop trying to be the policeman of the world."

A few days ago the White House had claimed to have proof that the Syrian regime had carried out a chemical weapon attack.

US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert had said in a statement, "We can say that the Syrian government was behind this chemical attack. We know there are only certain countries, like Syria, that have delivery mechanisms and have those types of weapons."