Assad supporters rally in Damascus after Western strikes


The White House said on Monday it is considering additional sanctions on Russian Federation following a chemical weapons attack in Syria, but has not made a decision yet.

What's unclear is where that red line now stands.

But Twitter reality is far different from the reality on the ground in Syria, where many indicators point to the fact that the strikes did not cripple the Syrian government's capabilities, nor did it affect Assad's morale.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on April 15 that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would announce the new sanctions on April 16.

"A perfectly executed strike last night", Mr. Trump said.

The Labour leader said chlorine has been used by "a number of parties in the conflict" in Syria as a weapon and questioned the legality of the airstrikes.

Even the Pentagon, the US Department of Defense, stated that the strikes were not aimed at changing Assad's regime, but rather were meant to deter Assad from using chemical weapons. The second and third targets were in the city of Homs at Him Shinshar chemical weapons complex.

Worryingly, every time the USA bombs Syria, the chances of a military confrontation in the country between the US and Russian Federation heightens, given that Moscow remains firmly behind Mr. Assad.

The U.S. said no special United Nations permission was required.

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That agreement was brokered by Moscow to avert retaliatory U.S. strikes in the wake of a sarin attack in the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus on August 21, 2013 that reportedly killed more than 1,400 civilians.

Syrian media, Russian and Syrian officials have sought to downplay the impact of the joint air strikes, saying the Syrian air defences have intercepted most of the missiles.

Members of the Trump administration, including USA defence secretary Jim Mattis, suggested that the focus of the strike had to be narrowed down to chemical weapon sites to minimise civilian casualties and avoid an escalation with Mr Assad's backers, Iran and Russian Federation. When the Trump administration announced sanctions in March related to Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, it also disclosed what it described as a Russian attempt to penetrate the USA energy grid. "They also chanted against the US and its allies", according to Iraqi News.

The OPCW declared that the Syrian government's chemical weapons stockpile had been removed in 2014, only to confirm later that sarin was used in a 2017 attack in the northern town of Khan Sheikhun. It blamed Islamic State militants for mustard gas use.

Russian Federation has vetoed at least six resolutions in the UN Security Council regarding chemical weapons.

A team from the OPCW arrived in Syria shortly before the airstrikes early Saturday.

Ahead of the latest strikes, Haley signaled in the Security Council on Friday that any action by Washington would not be in response to just the attack in Douma.

Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov's remarks could indicate a possible attempt to bog down the team from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), though both Russia and the Syrian government have welcomed the visit in the wake of the West's air strikes in Syria over the weekend.