US, UK, France launch precision strikes on Syria

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Mrs May said "every possible diplomatic channel" had been explored before authorising the strikes, adding that it was not a decision she had taken lightly.

U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the coordinated airstrikes in response to last weekend's chemical attack that reportedly killed about 70 people in the town of Douma in eastern Ghouta.

Britain, France and the USA attacked Syrian targets early this morning, seeking to punish the regime of Bashar al-Assad for its alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians last weekend.

Syrian air defences responded to the joint strikes by the United States, France and Britain.

"This collective action sends a clear message that the global community will not stand by and tolerate the use of chemical weapons", May said at a press conference, calling the military action "right and legal".

"It was limited to specific objectives: the destruction of the Syrian regime's chemical capabilities to stop it from committing new chemical massacres". But Syria and Russian Federation have dismissed the reports as fabrications.

There were no details on non-civilian casualties.

Sen. Murray said the she had questions that needed to be answered. A Security Council diplomat said the body would meet later Saturday.

The US president claimed that the joint action was meant to establish a "strong deterrent" against the production, spread, and use of chemical weapons.

"The red line set by France in May 2017 has been crossed", he said.

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Syrian television said the attacks targeted a scientific research centre in Barzeh, near Damascus, and an army depot near Homs while it was reported air defences had hit 13 incoming rockets south of Damascus.

A total of 100 cruise and air-to-surface missiles were launched at targets in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry stated, noting that two USA warships carried out the attack from the Red Sea, as well as tactical aviation over the Mediterranean Sea and B-1B bombers from al-Tanf area.

Mrs May said chemical weapons had "all too often" been used in recent times.

Trump indicated the strikes would continue until the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons ends.

"The aggression is a flagrant violation of global law, a breach of the worldwide community's will, and it is doomed to fail", said state news agency SANA.

A highly placed Russian politician is likening President Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler after the launch of airstrikes against Syria, and says he regards the action as a move against Russia.

"The worst apprehensions have come true".

- In response, the Russian embassy in the U.S. said it had warned that such actions would "not be left without consequences", adding that insulting President Vladimir Putin was "unacceptable and inadmissible".

They "are responsible for the regional consequences of this adventurist action", it said, condemning a "clear violation of worldwide rules and laws".

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