Syria air strikes: How events unfolded

Casey Dawson
April 18, 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron, however, on Sunday told a French television network that he had "convinced him that it's necessary to be there...we also convinced him that the strikes had to be limited to chemical weapons capabilities".

Days after US-led airstrikes hit Homs and Damascus on April 14, Syrian Twitter accounts blamed Israel for alleged strikes on Tuesday morning.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the military strikes violated the UN Charter and that if they continue, "it will inevitably entail chaos in worldwide relations", according to a Kremlin statement on Sunday. The OPCW had recorded 390 allegations of the use of banned chemicals in Syria since 2014 he said, and a failure by the OPCW to act risked allowing "further barbaric use of chemical weapons". The Western trio swiftly reverted to diplomatic efforts, with leaders facing flak at home over the punitive attack. The U.S. government is also expected to announce new sanctions against Russian Federation over its involvement in Syria.

On Monday, the White House walked back her statement and said that it has not yet made a decision on sanctions on Russian Federation. US ambassador Kenneth Ward said on Tuesday that he and USA allies believe that, in the 11 days since the attack, Russian forces have had plenty of time to tamper with the site. The inspectors will face a hard task, with all key players having pre-empted their findings, including Western powers, which justified the strikes by claiming they already had proof such weapons were used.

Russian military said on Tuesday it had found a laboratory in Douma.

The network is notorious for running pro-Trump propaganda, although this is a big break with the president, who has tweeted furiously about the chemical attack and launched airstrikes on Syria in retaliation.

He said that the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had sent experts to Syria to investigate.

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Trump's "Mission Accomplished" tweet recalled a similar claim associated with President George W. Bush following the USA -led invasion of Iraq.

Addressing the council, US Ambassador Nikki Haley said the United States was confident that the military strikes had crippled Syria's chemical weapons program.

Another senior administration official said Haley had gotten a little bit ahead of herself by saying more sanctions were coming, but not by much.

"We can all see that a Russian Federation disinformation campaign is in full force this morning, but Russia's desperate attempts at deflection cannot change the facts", Haley said Saturday at a U.N. Security Council meeting. Britain's May will also defend London's participation in parliament Monday, after opposition parties claimed the attacks were legally dubious and should have been approved by lawmakers. The majority of the more than 350,000 victims of the seven-year conflict have been killed by conventional rather than chemical weapons.

The UN security council's 15 members will meet on Monday to discuss a call for a wider push to eliminate the covert Syrian government stockpiles.

Russian Federation has military forces, including air defenses, in several areas of Syria to support President Bashar Assad in his long war against anti-government rebels.

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