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Explosions rock Syrian capital as Trump announces strikes

AP  |  Beirut 

Loud explosions rocked Syria's capital and filled the sky with heavy smoke early today after US announced airstrikes in retaliation for the country's alleged use of Syrian air defences responded to the joint strikes by the United States, and Britain.

reporters saw smoke rising from east and the sky turned orange. A huge fire could be seen from a distance to the east. Syrian television reported that a scientific research centre had been hit and that Syrian air defences had hit 13 incoming rockets south of

After the attack ceased and the early morning skies went dark once more, vehicles with loudspeakers roamed the streets of blaring nationalist songs.

"Good souls will not be humiliated," Syria's presidency tweeted after airstrikes began.

Syrian state TV called the attacks a "blatant violation of international law and shows contempt for international legitimacy." Trump announced Friday night that the three allies had launched military strikes to punish Syrian for the alleged use and to prevent him from doing it again.

The US said is prepared to "sustain" pressure on Assad until he ends what the called a criminal pattern of killing his own people with internationally banned It was not immediately clear whether Trump meant the allied military operation would extend beyond an initial nighttime round of missile strikes.

The has repeatedly denied any use of banned weapons.

US said there were no reports of US losses during the initial airstrikes.

"Right now this is a one-time shot," he said but did not rule out further attacks. He said the airstrikes were launched against several sites that helped provide Assad's ability to create

Britain's defence ministry said that while the effectiveness of the strike is still being analysed, "initial indications are that the precision of the Storm Shadow weapons and meticulous target planning have resulted in a successful attack." British describes the attack as neither "about intervening in a civil war" nor "about regime change" but a limited and targeted strike that "does not further escalate tensions in the region" and does everything possible to prevent civilian casualties.

"We would have preferred an alternative path. But on this occasion there is none," May said.

The decision to strike, after days of deliberations, marked Trump's second order to attack Syria; he authorised a barrage of Tomahawk cruise missiles to hit a single Syrian airfield in April 2017 in retaliation for Assad's use of against civilians.

Trump chastised Syria's two main allies, and Iran, for their roles in supporting "murderous dictators," and noted that Russian had guaranteed a 2013 international agreement for Assad to get rid of all of his He called on to change course and join the West in seeking a more responsible regime in

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, April 14 2018. 08:30 IST
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