USA to hit Russian Federation with new sanctions over Syria

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Johnson backed Prime Minister Theresa May's decision to join the United States and France to strike chemical weapons facilities in Syria on Saturday, saying it was the right thing to do to deter the further use of chemical weapons.

The United States, France and Britain on Saturday launched strikes against Bashar al-Assad's government a week after an alleged chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma, just east of the capital Damascus.

US President Donald Trump wants to bring troops back from Syria as soon as possible, the White House said, but not before their goals are fulfilled.

France is urging Russian Federation to join a push for a political solution in Syria after joint US, French and British attacks on Syrian chemical weapons sites. US Vice President Mike Pence warned Assad on Saturday against using chemical weapons again.

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"Trump failed in his aggression", said 51-year-old civil servant Mohammed Hammad. Military forces from the United States, United Kingdom and France launched a targeted assault against targets connected to Syria's chemical weapons program. He said Washington is prepared to keep pressure on Assad until he ends a "criminal pattern of killing his own people" with the internationally banned weapons.

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

The OPCW itself had 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.

Speaking at a briefing late Friday, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford said the strikes will result in a long term degradation of the Assad regime's capability to develop and deploy chemical and biological weapons.

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The Pentagon said no further action was planned but Washington's envoy to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, warned that the USA was "locked and loaded" should another gas attack occur. The military said there were three targets: the Barzah chemical weapons research and development site in the Damascus area, a chemical weapons storage facility near Homs and a chemical weapons "bunker" a few miles from the second target.

The airstrikes are but the latest in a long line of United States interventions in the Syrian civil war. Inspectors from the worldwide chemical weapons watchdog group were in Damascus and had been expected to head to Douma on Saturday.

Soussan reiterated a pledge by the Syrian government that the chemical experts would be allow to investigate unimpeded.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the USA military had kept its strikes limited because it knew a wider attack would spark retaliation from Damascus and its allies and inflame the region.

US VP Pence thanks Canada for backing Syria strikes, optimistic on NAFTA
The Mexican leader said they will discuss NAFTA and other parts of their relationship involving "cooperation and mutual respect". Pence said the U.S. "is ready to sustain the response" until the Syrian regime abandons the use of prohibited chemical agents.

Regime and allied forces are now expected to train their sights on southern districts of Damascus that are still held by the Islamic State jihadist group. The U.N. Security Council met to debate the strikes, but rejected a Russian resolution calling for condemnation of the "aggression" by the three Western allies.

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