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Allies: Strikes to Deter Assad, Not Oust

Allies: Strikes to Deter Assad, Not Oust

Trump ordered the strikes to punish the Assad government for an alleged chemical weapons attack on a rebel-occupied area near Damascus last weekend that reportedly killed more than 40 people, including children.

Syrian television reported that Syria's air defenses, which are substantial, have responded to the attack.

Iran warned of "regional consequences" on Saturday following a wave of punitive strikes in Syria by the United States, Britain and France.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu coupled praise for US -led strikes on Syrian targets on Saturday with a warning that Iran's presence there further endangers Syria.

The United States and European allies launched airstrikes on Saturday against Syrian research, storage and military targets under the pretext of a suspected chemical attack near Damascus last weekend that killed more than 40 people. "It is not about regime change", May said in statement made from her country residence at Chequers just minutes after U.S. President Donald Trump announced the strikes from the White House.

Iran, the Hezbollah terror organization's main patron, has threatened to attack the Jewish state over the predawn Monday missile barrage on the air base near Palmyra in central Syria attributed to the Jewish state.

Asked what US President Donald Trump's next step against the regime should be, he replied: "I think the big thing is we've got to be prepared to take more action if this behaviour continues on the part of the Syrians".

Russia: No Proof of Chemical Attack in Syria, 'It Was Staged'
The Kremlin on Saturday condemned Western air strikes on Syria where its armed forces are backing President Bashar al-Assad. They are expected to start their investigations into the Douma incident on Saturday, the Netherlands-based agency said.

The U.K. ministry says in a statement that while the effectiveness of the strike is still being analyzed, "initial indications are that the precision of the Storm Shadow weapons and meticulous target planning have resulted in a successful attack".

"I clearly declare that the USA president, the French president and the United Kingdom prime minister are criminals and have committed a crime", the Leader said on Saturday.

The statement comes after Iran, a strong ally of Syria, this week threatened to respond to an airstrike on a Syrian military base that the Syrian government, Russian Federation and Iran blamed on Israel. "If they give excuses to Iran, Tel Aviv and Haifa will be destroyed", cleric Ali Shirazi said on Thursday according to the semi-official Fars news agency. "We thank them both", Trump added.

A United States official told Reuters the strikes were aimed at multiple targets and involved Tomahawk cruise missiles.

May said Britain and its allies had sought to use every diplomatic means to stop the use of chemical weapons, but had been repeatedly thwarted, citing a Russian veto of an independent investigation into the Douma attack at the U.N. Security Council this week.

Netanyahu said Syrian president Bashar al-Assad must understand that "his provision of a forward base for Iran and its proxies endangers Syria".

"Insulting the President of Russian Federation is unacceptable and inadmissible".


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