Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

U.S. and our allies strike Syria

U.S. and our allies strike Syria

"It is time for all civilized nations to urgently unite in ending the Syrian civil war by supporting the United Nations backed Geneva peace process", Mattis said, noting he expected Russian Federation and other Assad backers to pursue a "significant disinformation campaign" on the strikes. Through these strikes we wanted to ensure that Syria is not capable of conducting any research related to nuclear use in future, said Mattis.

Mattis said options would be discussed with Trump at a meeting of his National Security Council on Thursday afternoon (Friday NZT). Now, Mattis said, Russian Federation is "complicit" in helping the regime retain them.

Mattis said that he has seen refugees from all over the world, including in Kosovo and Africa, he has never seen "refugees as traumatized as coming out of Syria". Some U.S. media had said Washington was confident Assad had also used sarin on April 7.

Any U.S. military strikes against Syria raise the possibility of a wider conflict with Russian Federation, which has backed the Syrian regime militarily and has troops and private contractors on the ground. But an accidental USA strike on Russian or Iranian positions could dramatically escalate tensions in the region. Jim Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, said the United States should "go over and bomb".

The president's tweets about a possible response isn't helping that effort, said Kevin Ryan, a retired Army brigadier general who is now an associate at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), based in the Netherlands, announced it was sending a fact-finding team to the site of the attack outside Damascus, and it was due to arrive Saturday. Eastern Time (0100 GMT) and saw US, French and British assets firing missiles at the Assad regime's chemical production facilities.

The timeline has changed for a decision on punishing Syria for a suspected chemical weapons attack. He has previously told his national security team he wants USA troops to exit Syria within six months.

On Thursday, Trump followed up that threat by saying it could happen "very soon or not soon at all".

"We are trying to stop the murder of innocent people, how do we keep this from escalating out of control", he told Tsongas.

Dunford then went into detail about the military strategy regarding the strike.

Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, chairman of the House committee, noted the military is in a better position budget-wise this year. "We need to know where that's going, what the goal of it is before we take that act". He sat in the Oval Office with Trump last evening along with chief of staff John Kelly when Trump phoned May, and was the leading voice telling Trump to cancel a planned trip to South America to remain in the United States and monitor the Syria response. Recently, the Russian ambassador to Lebanon has vowed that Russia will shoot down any USA cruise missiles launched at Syria. "Going forward in the next decade... understanding our fiscal restraints and dealing with them is going to be a critically important part of making sure the military can do what it can do".

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