Trump's full address on the launch of air strikes in Syria

In his remarks, Trump said he holds Russian Federation directly responsible for the attack on Douma, saying Moscow failed to live up to its 2013 promise to guarantee Syria eliminated its arsenal of chemical weapons.

"No nation can succeed in the long run by promoting rogue states, brutal tyrants and murderous dictators", the US president said.

He also criticized Russian Federation for using its veto at the United Nations Security Council to bring more clarity about the attack.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she supported the military action. The allied attack set off a fierce global debate about whether it was justified.

"The barbaric aggression.will not affect in any way the determination and insistence of the Syrian people and their heroic armed forces", state media cited an official source in the ministry as saying. It reported that 13 missiles had been shot down by Syrian air defences near Al-Kiswa, a town south of Damascus. "You could tell straight away that this wasn't your average Damascus night-time battle. It was something far bigger", he said.

Russian officials and President Trump have USA have exchanged heated rhetoric since Trump began talk of a US response to the alleged chemical attack throughout the past week.

"While this action is specifically about deterring the Syrian regime, it will also send a clear signal to anyone else who believes they can use chemical weapons with impunity", May said.

Those targets included a scientific research center in Damascus, a chemical weapons storage facility near Homs, Syria, and a chemical weapons equipment and military outpost close to the second target.

The strikes - the strongest concerted action yet by Western forces in Syria - were launched at 9 p.m. ET, as most of Europe and the Middle East was shrouded in darkness.

Britain contributed four Tornado fighter jets armed with Storm Shadow cruise missiles to the operation, according the UK's Ministry of Defense said.

Stewart McDonald, the SNP spokesman for defence, said joining in an allied attack on Syria was "not a courageous or strong" decision by Mrs May.

The air campaign could frustrate those in Trump's base who oppose military intervention and are wary of open-ended conflicts.

"Of course, the chemical attack is what pushed us to agree" to a withdrawal, a top rebel official tells Agence France-Presse.

"The worldwide community must uphold the prohibition against the use of chemical weapons, but it is unclear how President Trump's illegal and unauthorized strikes on Syria tonight will achieve that goal".

At the time, the Pentagon said that a fifth of Syria's operational aircraft was either damaged or destroyed. Iran insists its soldiers are only in Syria in an advisory role, but hundreds have been killed since the civil war began in 2011. "And it was not about regime change".

French President Emmanuel Macron said there was no doubt the Syrian regime was responsible for the chemical attack in Douma.

Syrian air defenses shot down 13 missiles fired in the USA -led attack on the country on Saturday, Syrian state TV said.

She said nearly a century of global acceptance about not using chemical weapons had been eroded in Douma and Salisbury.

He wrote on Twitter: "The PM has engaged United Kingdom forces in gesture bombing, with no major worldwide consensus and no long term plan to halt the use of chemical weapons or deliver peace".

The Russian ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, warned that "such actions will not be left without consequences".

Turkey's foreign ministry said the airstrikes were "an appropriate response to the chemical attack".

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was not seen publicly Friday, but he is known to argue for ensuring that military action in any context is linked to a broader political strategy.

Russia, which intervened in the war in 2015 to back Assad, has denied there was a chemical attack and has accused Britain of helping to stage the Douma incident to stoke anti-Russian hysteria.

In a statement issued by the Kremlin, the Russian leader said Moscow is calling an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council over the strike launched by the US, Britain and France.

U.S., British and French officials have expressed a high degree of confidence the attack on Douma by pro-Assad forces used chlorine gas, and that it also likely used another chemical agent, possibly sarin. "Syria continues to engage in and provide a base for murderous actions, including those of Iran, that put its territory, its forces and its leadership at risk", the official said.

The British Cabinet gave Prime Minister Theresa May the green light to join the USA and France in planning military strikes in Syria.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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