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Middle East

As it happened: 'Clear and unambiguous message sent to Syrian regime,' says Pentagon

© AFP | From left to right: French President Emmanuel Macron, UK Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2018-04-14

The United States, Britain and France have launched military air strikes against Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime in response to its alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians. Read our live blog to see how the day’s events unfolded.

Here are the main developments so far:

  • Early on Saturday morning, US-led airstrikes hit targets associated with the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons capabilities. The operation was carried out in conjunction with the UK and France.
  • General Joseph Dunford, Washington's top general, said the precision strikes hit three targets: a scientific research centre near Damascus, a storage facility and command post also near the capital and a chemical weapons storage facility near Homs.
  • Trump called the air strikes in Syria “Mission Accomplished!”
  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said no additional strikes were planned unless Assad again uses chemical weapons.
  • France's President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement: "We cannot tolerate the normalisation of the use of chemical weapons."
  • British Prime Minister Theresa May said that the West had tried "every possible" diplomatic means to stop Assad from using chemical weapons. "But our efforts have been repeatedly thwarted" by Syria and Russia.
  • Russian ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov warned that the strikes "would not be left without consequences".
  • During a briefing on Saturday, the Pentagon said the airstrikes had “successfully hit all targets”, setting the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons program back "for years".
  • The UN Security Council also held an emergency meeting, during which Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged all states “to show restraint in these dangerous circumstances and to avoid any acts that could escalate matters”.
  • Russia has called the western military action in Syria “illegal” and on Saturday circulated a draft resolution condemning the "aggression" against Syria, demanding that the US and its allies refrain from any further strikes.

Date created : 2018-04-14


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