Saturday, 22 September, 2018

A hard lesson in Syria: Assad can still gas his own people

A hard lesson in Syria: Assad can still gas his own people A hard lesson in Syria: Assad can still gas his own people
Patty Aguilar | 17 April, 2018, 01:44

Moscow, the main ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, on April 15 condemned the United States, Britain and France for refusing to wait for the findings of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) inspection team on the alleged attack on Douma before they launched the strikes.

Honking auto horns and waving Syrian flags, the crowd shouted slogans in support of Assad, celebrating what they saw as a triumph in resistance to the US-led airstrikes.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the missile attack on Syria's military and civilian infrastructure facilities was carried out by USA warplanes and naval ships in cooperation with British and French on Saturday.

The ties between the USA and Russian Federation were at standstill for the last one year and further deteriorated after the US-led strikes in three Syrian cities in response to a suspected deadly chemical attack in the town of Douma.

The U.S. -led strikes did nothing to alter the strategic balance or dent Assad's supremacy and the Western allies have said the aim was to prevent the further use of chemical weapons, not to intervene in the civil war or topple Assad.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that further Western attacks on Syria would bring chaos to world affairs, while signs emerged that Moscow and Washington want to pull back from the worst crisis in their relations for years.

Hundreds of Syrians gathered on Monday in a landmark square in Syria's capital, Damascus, rallying in support of their armed forces, which they say succeeded in confronting the unprecedented joint airstrikes by the West over the weekend.

In May past year, the BBC reported that the Barzah site was being used by the Syrian regime to install chemical weapons on long-range missiles, violating the 2013 agreement to eliminate chemical weapons from the country.

As May and Macron face critics at home, their representatives to the United Nations will, with the USA, push Monday for a resolution calling for an investigation into the alleged chemical weapons attack.

"The American strikes did not change anything for Syrians", Osama Shoghari, an anti-government activist from Douma, told The New York Times.

In an early-morning tweet, Mr Trump said the strike was "perfectly carried out", and criticised journalists for taking issue with his choice of words.

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Washington, meanwhile, prepared to increase pressure on Russian Federation with new economic sanctions, and European Union foreign ministers threatened similar measures.

"Mission accomplished" is the same phrase former President George W. Bush infamously used in 2003, after the USA -led invasion of Iraq.

"And we can not wait to alleviate further humanitarian suffering caused by chemical weapons attacks".

". We can not allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalized - either within Syria, on the streets of the United Kingdom or elsewhere".

In a joint airstrike, the United States, Britain and France bombed sites that the three countries said were linked to Syria's chemical weapons program, last week.

The bombings, hailed by US President Donald Trump as a success but denounced by Damascus and its allies as an act of aggression, marked the biggest intervention by Western countries against Assad and ally Russian Federation.

Haley made clear yesterday the United States won't be pulling troops out of Syria right away, saying USA involvement there "is not done".

"When we knew it was just because of using chemicals and not to help Syrian people everyone was kind of sad to hear that no-one cared".

While Trump 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.

This combination of satellite images shows the Barzah Research and Development Center in Syria on Friday, April 13, 2018, top, and on Sunday, April 15, bottom, following a US -led allied missile attack.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has denounced the missile strikes by the US, France and the United Kingdom as an "act of aggression" that would exacerbate the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria.

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