U.S. 'locked and loaded' if Syria uses toxic gas again

Russia's President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during an awarding ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow Russia

Russia's President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during an awarding ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow Russia

President Donald Trump on Saturday declared "Mission Accomplished" after ordering a military strike on suspected chemical weapons targets in Syria Friday night, provoking strong protests by Syrian leaders, Iran and Russian Federation.

In the moments after President Donald Trump ordered coordinated attacks on chemical weapons facilities in Syria, the White House sent a briefing document to members of Congress prepared by the National Security Council outlining the thinking behind its air strikes.

Gen. Kenneth McKenzie said the operation would "set the Syrian chemical-weapons program back by years".

McKenzie said 105 US and allied missiles were fired, of which 66 were Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from aboard three US Navy ships and one Navy submarine.

Russian Federation is pushing a United Nations resolution condemning the USA -led strike, which President Donald Trump said Saturday was "perfectly executed". The strikes were his first major military involvement since taking office past year. But there was a clear warning that if the Assad regime resorts to chemical weapons again, then further strikes may well follow.

Syrian state media called the attacks a "flagrant violation of global law".

A statement said: "Non-government medical organisations active in the region - which are usually reliable - have stated publicly that the strikes specifically targeted medical infrastructure". "Trump did it to save face".

What do we know about the strikes themselves? Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the strikes a "crime".

Trump says he has asked USA partners "to take greater responsibility for securing their home region, including contributing large amounts of money for the resources, equipment and all of the anti-ISIS effort".

The U.K. Defense Ministry said the strikes were "successful". Russia vetoed a USA text, while two Russian-drafted resolutions failed to get a minimum nine votes to pass.

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"Our worst apprehensions have come true".

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White warned that Russian Federation was actively attempting to sow confusion about the attack.

Russia was also strongly criticized by ambassadors for the United Kingdom and France, with both officials criticizing Russian protection of the Assad regime and emphasizing the body of evidence that they say pointed to the Assad regime's fingerprints on the chemical weapons attacks. Still, French Defense minister Florence Parly told reporters that Russian authorities were warned ahead of time, as proof the action would be limited to specific targets.

Preserving that pocket of freedom doesn't require a major Western ground presence, but it does require the will to declare Syria east of the Euphrates a no-fly zone - just as the victors in the First Gulf War did for Iraqi Kurdistan.

Russian Federation proposed a resolution at the UN Security Council, facing an assured veto, "appalled" at the use of military force against a "sovereign government".

The decision to launch air strikes in response to last Saturday's chemical weapons attack in a rebel-held district of Damascus is fraught with risks.

'We don't want to get into a fight with them and they don't want to get into a fight with us and the best way [to avoid that] is to share information but we are not cooperating with them, ' he said.

Dunford said the research center was used for development, production and testing of chemical and biological warfare technology.

Several European leaders, including Belgian, Spanish, Czech and Italian Prime Ministers have issued statements in support of the Western missile strikes on Syria.

May will address Parliament - where she doesn't have a majority - next week.

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