USA launches strikes on Syria

USA launches strikes on Syria

USA launches strikes on Syria

In the wake of last weekend's gruesome attack, some US officials advocated a larger, and therefore riskier, strike than the limited action Trump ordered in April 2017, also in response to suspected chemical weapons use.

The comments appear to row back on President Donald Trump's earlier warning to Russian Federation that it should "get ready" for missile strikes in Syria.

The United States was actively collecting evidence on how Syria and Russian Federation were responding to U.S. threats, officials said, adding that Washington believed Syria and its allies were nearly certainly also moving personnel and military equipment - beyond just aircraft - into protective locations.

All options remain on the table as US President Donald Trump considers a response to an alleged chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of people in Syria, the White House said Wednesday.

Asked whether the USA military was ready to conduct an attack in Syria if ordered, Mattis replied, "We stand ready to provide military options if they're appropriate, as the president determined".

"Never said when an attack on Syria would take place", Trump tweeted early Thursday.

Did Trump tip his hand?

President Donald Trump on Thursday put off a final decision on possible military strikes against Syria after tweeting earlier that they could happen "very soon or not so soon at all".

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The Syrian government's use of chemical weapons in suburban Douma couldn't immediately be corroborated because the area is cut off, but these attacks using outlawed weapons of war are one of Assad's signatures.

The Russian military said later it had observed movements of United States naval forces in the Gulf. Syria joined the pact in 2013 as part of the agreement to destroy its chemical weapons stockpile, negotiated between Russian Federation and the Obama administration. "Get ready Russian Federation, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!' You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!" "We would hope that all sides will avoid steps that in reality are not provoked by anything and that could destabilise the already fragile situation in the region", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Mattis disclosed that the US had not yet confirmed that the most recent suspected Syrian chemical weapons attack, on April 7 in the Damascus suburb of Douma, included the use of sarin gas.

But one major worry appeared to ease: That the coordinated attacks by the United States, France and Britain late Friday could have set off a direct confrontation with Syria's most powerful military partner, Russia.

"Our relationship with Russian Federation is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War", Trump said in a tweet.

"The issue is not so much risks, as much as it is the calibration that the United States is seeking", said Mr Bokhari.

"New, stealthy JASSM missiles could be delivered by B-1B and B-52 (and now likely F-15E and F-16)", Mount said.

The main USA role in Syria has been to lead the coalition attacking Islamic State militants, who moved into the vacuum of a near-lawless country but now have been driven from their territory.

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USA officials tell The Associated Press that the allies have weighed launching a military strike as early as the end of this week.

The decision to strike, after days of deliberations, marked Trump's second order to attack Syria.

May will host a Cabinet meeting on Thursday "to discuss the response to Syria", a Downing Street spokesperson confirmed to CNN.

"As the President noted on April 8, the chemical weapons attack by the Syrian regime against innocent civilians in Duma, Syria on April 7 was horrifying, and demands an immediate response from the worldwide community", he added.

With the U.S. and Russian Federation both engaging in military actions inside Syria, often at cross purposes, the risk of direct conflict has always been there.

France has 10 Rafale fighter jets stationed in Jordan and the United Arab Emirates which could be armed with "storm shadow" missiles that can fly for more than 155 miles, according to the French Ministry of Defense and retired general Dominique Trinquand.

Rep. Adam Smith, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said he sees no legal justification for a US strike in Syria, absent explicit authorization by Congress.

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