U.S., France, U.K. to brief NATO allies today on Syria strikes

U.S., France, U.K. to brief NATO allies today on Syria strikes
From CBC - April 14, 2018

Here is the latest:

The United States, France and Britainfired more than 100 missiles at Syria in what the Pentagon is calling a "one-time shot," followingevidence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for a chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians last weekend using at least chlorine gas.

The three allies will brief NATO envoys laterSaturday about their pre-dawn, co-ordinatedairstrikes, launched around 4 a.m. local time in Syria.

NATO was not involved in the operation, but NATOSecretary-General JensStoltenbergsaid on Saturday in astatement that he supported the strikes.

"This will reduce the regime's ability to further attack thepeople of Syria with chemical weapons,"Stoltenbergsaid.

U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and Marine Gen.Joseph Dunford said three main chemical weapons facilities were targetedby missiles from both the sea and aircraft, which triggered Syrian air defences.

The Syrian military said the targets werea military base in Syria's centralHomsprovince and the scientific research centre inBarzeh, near Damascus.

Pentagon officials say the attackswere aimed atAssad's programs to develop and produce chemical weapons. U.S. President Donald Trump said the operation was in response to the"evil and despicable" attack last Saturday on civilians.

When asked by a reporter in Washington on Friday night if there would be more strikes, Mattis said, "That will depend on Mr. Assad, should he decide to use more chemical weaponsin future ... but right now, this is a one-time shot, and I believe it has sent a very strong message to deter Assad from doing this again."

Syrian state TV has broadcast images of the destruction at the research centre that was targeted.

The images shown on Al-Ikhbariya TV are the first of one of the targets. Seen in the footage are piles of rubble outside a destroyed building and a burned vehicle.

France's foreign minister is threatening further missile strikes against Syria if the Syrian government uses chemical weapons again. Last Saturday, a suspected chemical attack was blamed for killing more than 40 peopleinDouma, near the capitalDamascus, according to NGOsand aid organizations.The Syrian regime and its ally Russia have issued various denials.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May issued a statement on Saturday saying the "despicable and barbaric" attack killed up to 75 people, including young children, and that there were as many as 500 further casualties.

U.K. says weapons depottargeted

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