Syrian Government Claims Minimal Damage from Tripartite Attack

Simon Moss
April 15, 2018

He highlighted his country's continued determination to fight terrorists across Syria.

US President Donald Trump has praised the US-led coalition missile strikes on Syria claiming the air raids were "perfectly executed".

The bombing represents a major escalation in the West's confrontation with Assad's superpower ally Russian Federation, but is unlikely to alter the course of a multi-sided war which has killed at least half a million people in the past seven years.

Russian Federation denounced the attacks as aggression against its ally, but there was no sign of an immediate military response.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denounced a strike on Syria launched by the United States and its allies as an "act of aggression" that will exacerbate humanitarian catastrophe in Syria.

Trump warned Assad that the USA was prepared to "sustain" its strikes on the Syrian government, but also said that "America does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria".

"America does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria under no circumstances", he said.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the missile strike against Syria's military and civilian infrastructures was carried out by USA planes and naval ships in cooperation with British and French air forces between 03:42 and 05:10 Moscow time on Saturday.

Assad's allies, including Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah group, also condemned the strikes.

McKenzie, a Marine Corps general, said he has no reports of civilian casualties following the U.S. -led strikes and that the attacks overnight Friday were launched from U.S., France and United Kingdom aircraft and ships, including those in the Red Sea and eastern Mediterranean Sea.

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The government's capture of Douma, the last town held by the rebels in eastern Ghouta, marked a major victory for Assad. She added: "It's some of the worst piece of fake news we've yet seen from the Russian Federation propaganda machine".

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the strikes "crimes" in a speech cited by Iranian TV, according to Reuters. Those aides have noted the President's daily calls with American allies and the meetings he's convened of national security officials to weigh his options.

The chemical weapons attack killed at least 40 people and injured over 500.

Both the Syrian government and Russian Federation, which backs Assad, have denied such a chemical attack took place.

The strikes were conducted the same day a team of investigators from the UN Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is scheduled to visit Douma to determine if the alleged chemical attack took place.

Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday France had proof the Syrian government carried out the Douma attack and would decide whether to strike back when all necessary information had been gathered.

White said the US does not seek conflict with Syria but "cannot allow such grievous violations of global law" and attacks on innocent Syrians.

The ministry said it was an "attempt to block the exposure of their lies and fabrications".

Trump, while addressing the nation on Friday night, said the joint strike with France and the United Kingdom was now underway.

Several missiles hit a research centre in Barzeh, north of Damascus, "destroying a building that included scientific labs and a training centre", SANA reported.

State media published images of a cloud of reddish smoke hanging over the capital and said that air defenses were activated to block the attack.

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