Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Before and after: satellite pictures reveal damage of Syria strikes

Before and after: satellite pictures reveal damage of Syria strikes

Even though the OPCW team was not allowed in, the Syrian authorities organised a tour of the town for the foreign press, including AFP.

As of Saturday, it was unclear whether another chlorine attack would be enough to trigger more USA strikes, or whether the death toll would need to be high enough or whether - as was the case on April 7 - sarin use would also need to be a possibility. Could not have had a better result.

"These strikes were more aimed at Russian Federation rather in the interest of the Syrian people", he told Fairfax Media.

Mohammed, his wife, and two daughters are Syrian refugees and to them, the mission that was accomplished was a different one.

Following weekend missile strikes on Syria by the US, France and Britain, Russia traded accusations with Western nations on Monday, dismissing as "a blatant lie" accusations that Moscow was hindering the investigation in Douma. Moscow slammed the joint United Nations and OPCW inquiry as flawed.

Later Saturday, President Bashar al-Assad's army announced it had retaken the whole of the region east of Damascus from rebels after an nearly two-month military assault. The Pentagon on Saturday said all the targets in Syria were successfully hit and there were no interceptions.

It remains to be seen if Russian Federation will eventually move to align Syria with the 2013 agreement. The United States has been intervening directly in Syrian domestic affairs since 2011, when then-Ambassador Robert Ford toured the country in support of the anti-government protests; the United States has been funneling arms to the radical jihadi opposition since at least 2012; past year the Trump administration lobbed a series of cruise missiles against Syria; the USA military now has upwards of 2,000 troops stationed on the ground, in violation of global law.

Jens Stoltenberg said the strikes were a "clear message" to Syrian president Bashar Assad, to Russian Federation and Iran that the use of chemical weapons is not acceptable and that the allies would not stand by and watch. He said the US knew of no civilians killed by allied missiles.

Syrian activists said more than 40 people were killed but Syria and Russian Federation deny the attack and Russian Federation even accused Britain of staging the attack.

The U.S. military, along with France and Britain, fired 105 missiles against three chemical weapons facilities in Syria on Saturday.

But US Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters Friday that the missiles were a "one-time shot" for now, but that the strike sent a "strong message" to "deter" Assad from carrying out another chemical attack.

The barrier for the inspectors comes days after the US, UK and France bombarded sites they said were linked to Syria's chemical weapons programme. Assad's Barzah research and development center in the Damascus area was destroyed, the general said.

The "mission has not been accomplished", said Suzanne Akhras, president of the Syrian Community Network.

Pentagon officials and President Donald Trump on Saturday praised US airstrikes in Syria, but some locals are saying America hasn't gone far enough.

The Russian military, meanwhile, claims to have struck down a majority of the missiles.

The Russians say there is no trace of any chemicals and questioned why the allies carried out strikes before the inspectors had reported. He criticized the USA and its allies for launching the strikes without waiting for inspectors from the worldwide chemical weapons watchdog to visit the area.

"It's a pin prick in the end because Bashar has been using these chemical weapons for years". While he declared success, the Pentagon said the pummeling of three chemical-related facilities left enough others intact to enable the Assad government to use banned weapons against civilians if it chooses.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the West's response was "necessary and appropriate".

The U.S., United Kingdom and France launched strikes on Syria a week after U.S. President Donald Trump said there would be a "big price" to pay for the apparent use of chemical weapons by President Bashar al-Assad's forces in the town of Douma, an attack that killed scores of civilians. He said at least one chemical was used - chlorine, which also has legitimate industrial uses and had not previously triggered a US military response.

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