With Bravado, the Syrian Government Responds to US-Led Attacks


The US, Britain and France carried out a wave of pre-dawn strikes against the Syrian regime today in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack.

Most of the weapons rained down on the Barzah Research and Development Center, the "heart" of the chemical weapon program, located in the greater Damascus area.

"We are prepared to sustain this pressure, if the Syrian regime is foolish enough to test our will", she said.

Nikki Haley, the US's ambassador to the United Nations, said the USA would be "locked and loaded" if Assad used chemical weapons again.

The Syrian Central Military Media released a video showing missiles over Damascus during Saturday's airstrikes. He said the USA knew of no civilians killed by allied missiles. Syrian state television broadcast scenes of citizens taking to the streets to celebrate and demonstrate their support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, waving Syrian, Russian and Iranian flags.

"We specifically identified these targets to mitigate the risk of Russian forces being involved", Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said.

Russian Federation also said there were no immediate reports of military or civilian casualties.

Loud explosions early yesterday rocked the Syrian capital and filled the sky with heavy smoke after US President Donald Trump announced airstrikes in retaliation for the country's alleged use of chemical weapons. Last year's chemical weapons attack killed dozens civilians, as did this one.

"The objective of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread, and use of chemical weapons", Mr. Trump said Friday night. Assad has vehemently denied launching the chemical attack.

- Downing Street has published a document setting out why it says military action against the Syrian regime was legal, stating it has met three conditions permitted under worldwide law. 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.

During the Security Council meeting, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley expressed Washington's preparedness to launch more military strikes on Syria if Washington learns that the Syrian government carries out a chemical weapons attack. The response was an attempt to weaken Assad's capabilities, and make the prohibition of chemical weapons clear.

- French president Emmanuel Macron said "a red line" had been crossed after the chemical weapons attack in Douma.

Russia's Defense Ministry had earlier asserted that none of the missiles launched by the USA and its allies entered areas protected by Russia's missile defense.

With the new attack on Syria, things appear headed in the opposite direction. The use of chemical weapons is an unacceptable infraction.

Western diplomats said they were ready to allow time for negotiations to make every effort to bring Russian Federation aboard.

The group said the mission "will continue its deployment to the Syrian Arab Republic to establish facts around the allegations of chemical weapons use in Douma".

"The scientific facilities in Syria are used only for peaceful activity which is aimed at enhancing the economic effectiveness of economic activity of Syria", Nebenzia said.