chemical weapons

Air strikes cripple Syria chemical weapons program: US

MNA International Desk: Western powers said on Saturday their missile attacks struck at the heart of Syria’s chemical weapons program, but the restrained assault appeared unlikely to halt Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s progress in the 7-year-old civil war.

The United States, France and Britain launched 105 missiles overnight in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack in Syria a week ago, targeting what the Pentagon said were three chemical weapons facilities, including a research and development centre in Damascus’ Barzeh district and two installations near Homs.

The bombing was the biggest intervention by Western countries against Assad and his superpower ally Russia, but the three countries said the strikes were limited to Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities and not aimed at toppling Assad or intervening in the civil war.

The air attack, denounced by Damascus and its allies as an illegal act of aggression, was unlikely to alter the course of a multisided war that has killed at least half a million people.

US President Donald Trump called the operation a success, reported news agency.

He proclaimed on Twitter: “Mission accomplished,” echoing former President George W. Bush, whose use of the same phrase in 2003 to describe the US invasion of Iraq was widely ridiculed as violence there dragged on for years.

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