U.S. strikes cripple Syria's chemical weapons ability -Pentagon

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Meanwhile, Theresa May, UK prime minister, said her government resorted to military action only after its efforts at deterring the Syrian government from using chemical weapons were "repeatedly thwarted" at the United Nations by Russian Federation.

The joint military campaign drew a swift and harsh response from Russian Federation, a key Syrian ally and its strongest partner. Asked about Trump's description of a sustained campaign, Defense Secretary James Mattis downplayed the prospects of prolonged American engagement.

The decision was days in the making and came only after sometimes-heated disagreements between Trump and top military advisers, according to senior officials.

"We can not tolerate the recurring use of chemical weapons, which is an immediate danger for the Syrian people and our collective security".

It was evident early on that Trump was intent on taking action to punish the Syrian regime for its actions.

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The US has about 2,000 troops on the ground in Syria as advisers to a makeshift group of anti-Daesh fighters known as the Syrian Democratic Forces.

The US, UK and France have launched co-ordinated missile strikes on Syria following a "despicable" chemical weapons attack on the town of Douma.

In a press conference on the Syria attack this morning, Mrs May said Britain can not allow the use of chemical weapons to be normalised.

His views were bolstered by Bolton and USA envoy to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who argued that any action must go well past the limited set of strikes Trump ordered from Mar-a-Lago last April, a senior administration official said. "No nation can succeed in the long run by promoting rogue states, brutal tyrants, and murderous dictators", Trump said.

Russian officials on Twitter called the "treacherous and insane" strikes a "clear and present danger to world peace" and demanded accountability. Syria's President Bashar Assad announced that his country would respond, while Russia's ambassador to Washington warned of unspecified "consequences".

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Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain said Syria had left the allies no choice. He's spent extended portions of each day in fits of anger.

The allied strikes against the Syrian regime were too constrained and specific to have a positive effect towards reaching a political solution, Defence Minister Jüri Luik said in an interview with ERR's radio news on Saturday.

Ahmad al-Issa, 46, ruled out a US airstrike, saying Trump has in the past threatened to wipe North Korea off the map, then ended up calling for a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. There won't be anything, or anyone, even close!

More: Syria conflict explained: How did we end up here? Iran's Supreme Leader called the attack a crime and the country's Revolutionary Guard Corps said it gave "the resistance a more open hand", although it did not threaten to retaliate.

Nonetheless, according to initial reports, the strikes were the biggest ever by the three Western powers against Syria in the country's seven-year-old conflict, which has pitted the U.S. and its allies against Russian Federation.

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Amid conflicting tweets about the timing of any retaliation, President Donald Trump said Thursday that an attack on Syria could take place "very soon or not so soon at all". Trump, meanwhile, retreated to his third floor residence to watch coverage of the strikes on television.