USA targets Syrian chemical weapons facilities with strikes

Gen. Dunford on Syria Airstrikes: We Did Not Coordinate With Russians or Pre-Notify Them

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Friday called on the global community to "urgently" unite and bring an end to Syria's civil war.

Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon Friday that the USA and its allies carried out a "heavy" one-time strike on Syria - double the size of last year's offensive - that President Donald Trump was authorized to order under the Constitution.

The recent attack killed dozens of children and families near Damascus in Syria, and is believed to have been carried out under the direction of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The defence secretary says Friday's strikes have "sent a clear message" to Assad and his "murderous lieutenants".

"In conducting these strikes we have gone to great lengths to avoid civilian and foreign casualties", he continued.

In London, the British Cabinet had "agreed that the Assad regime has a track record of the use of chemical weapons and it is highly likely that the regime is responsible for Saturday's attack", Downing Street said in a statement.

The Trump administration did not lay the blame only at the feet of Syria's leader. He talked about the three nations have "marshaled their righteous vitality".

"Important infrastructure was destroyed, which will result in a setback for the Syrian regime - and they will lose years of research and development data, specialized equipment and expensive chemical-weapons precursors", Dunford said.

On Thursday, Trump added a point on Twitter that he "never said when an attack on Syria would take place" but it "could be very soon or not so soon at all!".

Messages are being passed to Moscow about the U.S. and its allies' intentions to create a "lasting deterrent" against the use of chemical weapons again, according to one senior administration official.

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Trump could be offering prayers for the Middle East and for the US.

Trump launched Friday evening time that the U.S., France and Britain have launched navy strikes in Syria to punish President Bashar Assad for his alleged use of chemical weapons in opposition to civilians and to discourage him from doing it as soon as extra. The Syrian government and Russian Federation called this information untrue, while the United States and allies have blamed Bashar al-Assad for the attack.

Trump has signaled in newest weeks that, no matter advice from his nationwide security group, he wished to hurry up the timetable of the withdrawal of American forces. He says a "combined operation" with France and the United Kingdom is underway.

"Should he decide to use more chemical weapons in the future and of course, the powers that have signed the chemical weapons prohibition have every reason to challenge Assad if should he choose to violate that", Mattis said.

Following the strike, reports of a retaliatory actions emerged. "We are continuing to assess intelligence and are engaged in conversations with our partners and allies".

White House spokesman Raj Shah said Friday afternoon that Trump "is going to hold the Syrian government accountable".

With strike fleets moving within range of Syria and the Russian military on alert to defend against a possible missile attack, tensions continue to run high.

"Get ready Russian Federation, because they will be coming, nice and new and smart!" he tweeted, referring to US missiles.

Jarrod Agen, Vice President Mike Pence's deputy chief of staff, said Pence called congressional leaders from his hotel suite in Lima, Peru, to notify them of the president's plan to address the nation about the Syrian air strikes.

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