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France urges Russia to join peace push after Syria strike

16 April 2018

In August 2015, the U.N. Security Council first authorized the OPCW and U.N. investigators to probe reports of chemical weapons use in Syria, as witnesses began to circulate increasing accounts of chlorine attacks by government forces against civilians in opposition-held areas.

White says the target choices were "very methodical", calling it a "deliberate decision" to go after chemical weapons facilities.

A sarin attack triggered Trump's decision a year ago to strike a Syrian air base.

Speaking to the BBC, Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that Western powers had no plans for further missile strikes, though they would assess their options if Damascus used chemical weapons again.

France, the United States and United Kingdom launched joint military action on Friday evening, firing 105 missiles at the three sites in Syria.

Nebenzya accused the United States, Britain, and France of "hooliganism" and of "demonstrating a blatant disregard for worldwide law". But the Syrian regime is refuting the effectiveness of those strikes.

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.

The trilateral operations came with questionable legitimacy due to the lacking of proof that could show Syrian government behind the chemical attack, and has been widely criticized by Syria, Russia and Iran, among other nations.

"Air strikes disconnected from a broader strategy may be necessary, but they alone will not achieve USA objectives in the Middle East", said McCain, who a year ago called for more aggressive action that would cripple Assad's military.

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According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the three countries fired over 100 cruise and air-to-surface missiles, most of which were shot down by Syrian air defense.

In a press briefing at the Pentagon Saturday, Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. confirmed the three distinct targets - a research facility, a weapons depot and a command center.

France, the United States and Britain plan to put forward a new draft resolution aimed at dismantling Syria's chemical weapons program, wiping out terrorism, demanding a ceasefire across Syria and finding a political solution to the war, French UN Ambassador Francois Delattre told the council on Saturday.

"If this step does not succeed, we will be prepared to act again", an official said on the call, echoing what other top administration officials emphasized on Saturday.

"To succeed in the long run, we need a comprehensive strategy for Syria and the entire region", Republican Senator John McCain said in a statement after the latest strikes.

"The United States of America will not allow the Assad regime to continue using chemical weapons".

Addressing the council, Guterres said: "At this critical juncture, I call on all member states to act consistently with the charter of the United Nations and with worldwide law, including the norms against chemical weapons".

"The way to do that is through worldwide diplomacy and cooperation", said Mandel.

France urges Russia to join peace push after Syria strike