US calls Syria strikes a success; Russia, Iran condemn attack

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on April 14 that the alliance "considers the use of chemical weapons unacceptable".

Syrian television reported that Syria's air defenses, which are substantial, have responded to the attack.

It was the basis for France's involvement in a joint military operation launched Saturday with the US and Britain to target Syrian chemical weapons facilities.

The European Union on Saturday warned of fresh economic sanctions, should Syria continue to use chemical weapons.

US President Donald Trump announced early on Saturday the military action from the White House late on Friday. "Tonight, led by the Americans, the US, France and Britain acted appropriately", said a statement attributed to an unnamed official in Jerusalem.

"Canada supports the decision by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France to take action to degrade the Assad regime's ability to launch chemical weapons attacks against its own people", Trudeau said in a statement Friday.

Iran's leaders vowed retaliation for the attack, but did nothing; they understand very well that the situation in Syria could become even uglier, and they would pay a heavy price.

Iran is a major supporter of the Bashar al-Assad regime, whose forces violently cracked down on pro-democracy protests in 2011, triggering a deadly civil war that killed thousands.

Pentagon officials said the attacks targeted the heart of Assad's programs to develop and produce chemical weapons.

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Russia and Syria have blamed Israel for attacking the base, and the Kremlin this week said Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed it with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone conversation.

Separately, a high-ranking commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which has been fighting alongside the military of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from the start of the Syrian war, said the United States and its allies now await the consequences of their strike on Syria.

Ankara said the attacks, with weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, that indiscriminately target civilians, "constitute crimes against humanity" and they should not go unpunished.

Russia's Ministry of Defense claimed Syria's air defense systems intercepted 71 missiles launched in the airstrikes.

Marine Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said there was some "activity" by Syrian surface-to-air missiles, but there were no reports of USA or allied casualties.

Israeli leaders have warned that they will not allow Iran to establish a permanent military presence near its border in Syria, where it could stage attacks.

The Syrian government has denied using chemical weapons against enemy forces. "This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very awful regime", he added. He's also going to hold the Russians and the Iranians who are propping up this regime responsible.

"Insulting the President of Russian Federation is unacceptable and inadmissible".

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