Pentagon: Syria strikes put chemical weapons program back years

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Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi of the Russian military's General Staff says Saturday's strike hasn't caused any casualties and Syrian military facilities targeted by the U.S., Britain and France have suffered only minor damage.

He notes that Russian Federation in the past refrained from providing Syria with its state-of-the-art S-300 air defense missile systems on Western prodding but could reconsider it now.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the airstrikes an "act of aggression" and a "destructive influence on the entire system of worldwide relations".

Overnight, U.S., British and French forces launched more than 100 missiles from ships and manned aircraft, targeting three of Syria's main chemical weapons facilities.

Putin added that the strike had a "destructive influence on the entire system of global relations".

Western powers blamed Assad, but Syria and its ally Russian Federation categorically denied the claims and accused the West of "fabricating" the incident to justify military action. USA officials said they gave Russian Federation no specific warnings of the attacks or the targets, but used the usual hotline with Moscow's military to ensure the airspace was clear.

Trump tweeted, "A perfectly executed strike last night". Trump characterized it as the beginning of a sustained effort to force Assad to stop using banned weapons but ordered only a limited one-night operation that hit three targets.

"The attack took place after the colonial forces supporting terrorists realized they have lost control got the feeling that they have lost credibility in front of their people and the world", Assad said.

The decision was days in the making and came only after sometimes-heated disagreements between Trump and top military advisers, according to senior officials.

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Israel has issued several stern warnings of late about Iran's increased involvement along its border in Syria in Lebanon.

Prime Minister Theresa May during a press conference in 10 Downing Street, London on the air strikes against Syria.

Speaking at the United Nations on Thursday, Russia's U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, said the top priority had to be to avert a wider war, and he didn't rule out the possibility of a U.S. -Russia conflict.

"We can not allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised - either within Syria, on the streets of the United Kingdom or elsewhere", May said.

May authorized the strikes without a vote from Parliament, which has been in recess.

The United States and European allies launched airstrikes early today against Syrian research, storage and military targets as President Donald Trump sought to punish President Bashar Assad for a suspected chemical attack near Damascus last weekend that killed more than 40 people.

May said while the strike was targeted at Syria, it sent a message to anyone who used chemical weapons.

The attack "was a victory for Syria", former lawmaker Sharif Shehadeh said by phone from Damascus.