US, France, Britain launch new United Nations bid for Syria chemical weapons probe


Mrs. Sanders aid US policy in Syria "hasn't changed". Bush addressed sailors aboard a Navy ship in May 2003 alongside a "Mission Accomplished" banner, just weeks before it became apparent that Iraqis had organized an insurgency that would tie down US forces for years. Moscow slammed the joint United Nations and OPCW inquiry as flawed.

Russia, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has warned of "grave repercussions" for the operation, which it described as an "illegal action".

Military strikes hit three targets: a warfare technology center and two chemical weapons facilities.

By late Saturday in Washington, more than 12 hours after the attack, neither Syria nor its Russian or Iranian allies had retaliated, Pentagon officials said.

"All weapons hit their targets close to the designated time on target", Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, the Joint Staff director, told the press on Saturday.

Damascus skies erupt with surface to air missile fire as the USA launches an attack on Syria targeting different parts of the Syrian capital Damascus, Syria, early on April 14, 2018.

The Pentagon said Saturday's allied attack used double the missiles of the previous one, but analysts said that may not deter Assad's regime since using chemical weapons keeps government casualties on the battlefield down.

Syria says it knocked down 71 of the 105 missiles fired, but the U.S. says all missiles hit their targets.

The allies said they acted to answer a reported chemical weapons attack in the Syrian city of Douma. Syria has denied the accusation.

Syrian opposition and activists have criticised the Russian deployment in the town, saying that evidence of chemical weapons' use might no longer be found. Russia and Syria deny the attack took place.

Francois Delattre, France's ambassador to the United Nations, said Syria's chemical weapons programme must be dismantled in a "verifiable and irreversible way".

But they have made none of that evidence public even after they, along with Britain, bombarded sites they said were linked to Syria's chemical weapons program.

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned of global "chaos" on Sunday in a phone conversation with Iran's president as the two men discussed the US -led strike on Syria.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Britain must "take every possible precaution" against any potential Russian counter-measures and acknowledged that recent relations between Moscow and London had "not been good".

Russian military police were ready to help protect the OPCW experts on their visit to Douma, said Major General Yuri Yevtushenko of the Russian military's Reconciliation Centre in Syria.

French President Emmanuel Macron, however, on Sunday told a French television network that he had "convinced him that it's necessary to be there...we also convinced him that the strikes had to be limited to chemical weapons capabilities".

But Mr Trump fought back on Sunday, saying he knew the "fake news media" would seize on it but used it anyway as it is a "great military term".

Before dawn on Saturday, a coalition of USA, United Kingdom and French forces launched more than 100 missiles targeting three chemical facilities in Syria in retaliation for an apparent chemical attack that killed dozens of civilians on April 7. He said at least one chemical was used - chlorine, which also has legitimate industrial uses and had not previously triggered a USA military response.

The UK, US and France have presented plans for a ceasefire in Syria in the wake of their joint airstrikes on the war-torn country. It said there were no indications any of the chemical agents had been released into the air as a result of the strikes.