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US, allies strike Syria, draw condemnation from Assad, Putin (Roundup)

IANS  |  Washington/Damascus/Moscow/London 

The US, Britain and launched coordinated strikes against Syria's research, storage and military targets to "punish" the regime for an apparent in Douma that killed over 70 people. The military action was denounced by and its ally as a "failure" and "an act of aggression".

Western allies warned on Saturday that they could launch further attacks if were used again. The strikes on Friday night was intended to show Western resolve in the face of what the leaders of the three nations called "persistent violations of international law".

US via a tweet hailed the overnight military strike as "perfectly executed", adding: "Mission Accomplished".

The strikes targeted three facilities associated with Syria's arsenal, including a scientific research facility around Damascus, a storage facility around alleged to be used for and a nearby command post, said the

The for Human Rights said the Syrian Army's 4th were among the targets. US aircraft including bombers, naval vessels and about 100 Tomahawk cruise missiles were used in the attack, the said.

"The nations of Britain, and the US have marshalled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality," Trump said in an address after the strike.

"The purpose of our actions is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons...The wave of strikes is the most significant attack against by Western powers in seven years of Syria's civil war," he said.

"We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents," he added.

In Syria, the described the missile strikes as "barbaric aggression". said that it reflected the "failure" of Western powers to achieve their goals in after the defeat of the foreign-backed militants.

The claimed that its air defences shot down a majority of the 110 missiles launched at dawn by the Western allies and claimed only the research facility in had been damaged. said that Syrian forces used older Soviet-made to intercept incoming missiles.

Civilians and soldiers gathered in in for a show of support, waving Syrian flags and dancing to songs that praised the

Russian slammed the US and its allies, saying that was "increasingly exacerbating the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria" and called for an immediate meeting to discuss the "an act of aggression".

He said the US used a "staged chemical attack" against civilians to carry out the latest strike, adding that Russian military experts did not find any traces of or other poisonous substances in Douma.

Russian said that "the action against came precisely at the moment when the country received a chance for a peaceful future".

Iran's Ayatollah called the attack a "crime" but gave no indication of any planned Iranian response. and its main proxy force in the region, Lebanon's Hezbollah, are both key allies of Syria.

British and French confirmed their countries' involvement in the action with the former saying that "Syria had left the allies no choice".

Macron, talking about the Douma chemical attack, said: "Dozens of men, women and children were massacred with chemical weapons. The red line had been crossed."

"and its partners will today resume their efforts at the UN to enable the creation of an international mechanism to establish responsibility, prevent impunity and obstruct any temptation on the part of the Syrian regime to repeat these acts."

Nato tweeted that those who use chemical weapons "must be held accountable".

The EU said it "was supportive of all efforts aimed at preventing the use of chemical weapons".

German -- who had ruled out joining the military action -- said she supported the strikes as "necessary and appropriate".

UN warned UN members of their responsibilities. "I urge all member states to show restraint in these dangerous circumstances."

China's urged negotiation and called for a "comprehensive and impartial" investigation into the allegation that chemical weapons were used.

Meanwhile, a fact-finding mission from the was to begin investigating the episode on Saturday in Douma, which had been held by rebels before the suspected attack.



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

First Published: Sat, April 14 2018. 19:04 IST