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U.S., Britain and France launch 'precision airstrikes' on Syria Updated: 2018-04-14 14:56:57 KST

President Trump addressed the nation from the White House on Friday night, local time, saying he had given the order for the U.S. military -- in conjunction with Britain and France -- to launch airstrikes on Syria.

"I ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapon capabilities of Syrian dictator of Bashar al-Assad."

President Trump said the strikes were necessary to prevent chemical weapons from being used on innocent Syrians again.

"The combined American, British and French response to these atrocities will integrate all instruments of our national power: military, economic and diplomatic."

The Syrian Armed Forces later said the U.S. and its Western allies fired a total of one-hundred-and-ten missiles from manned aircraft and ships.

The strikes came around one week after the chemical attack on civilians in the rebel-held town of Douma on April 7th.
The Pentagon confirmed the airstrikes hit three sites: a scientific research facility in the capital, Damascus, and chemical weapons storage facilities, as well as an important command post near Homs.

Speaking at a briefing late Friday, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford said the strikes will result in a long term degradation of the Assad regime's capability to develop and deploy chemical and biological weapons.

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

In his national address an hour prior to the Pentagon press conference, President Trump condemned Russia and Iran for backing the Assad regime and demanded the two nations withdraw their support for Syria's "barbarism and brutality."
Trump said, (quote) "Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path," slamming his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, who said in 2013 that Moscow had guaranteed the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons.
Responding to the airstrikes, Putin on Saturday condemned what he called "an attack on Syria".
In a statement released by the Kremlin, the Russian leader called the airstrikes "an act of aggression against a sovereign state and a clear violation of the UN Charter."
Cha Sang-mi, Arirang News.
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