U.S. 'locked and loaded' if Syria uses chemical weapons again


In a statement released early Saturday morning, Putin denounced the strikes as an "act of aggression" that would have a "destructive influence on the entire system of global relations".

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called the US-led strikes on Syria a "military crime".

"Insulting the President of Russian Federation is unacceptable and inadmissible", Antonov said in his statement responding to the US-led military action.

The Russian military had vowed to respond to any attack, and President Vladimir Putin's administration had repeatedly warned Trump was taking America down a risky path.

On April 9, USA ambassador at the UN, Nikki Haley, says Washington is determined to "see the monster who dropped chemical weapons on the Syrian people is held to account".

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At the meeting in NY, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged all members of the Security Council to exercise restraint and avoid escalation in Syria, but said allegations of chemical weapons use demands an investigation.

But Vassily Nebenzia, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, accused Western powers on Friday of using the alleged attack as a pretense to oust Assad and to check Russia's power, telling the United Nations security council that Russia would consider such a strike a "breach of worldwide law".

China's foreign ministry said it objected to the use of force and warned that it could complicate the situation in Syria. "So, I ordered the French armed forces to intervene tonight, as part of an global operation in coalition with the United States of America and the United Kingdom and directed against the clandestine chemical arsenal of the Syrian regime". Washington says it has confirmed that chlorine gas was used, and has unconfirmed suspicion that nerve agents may also have been used.

The Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, who this week ruled out his country's participation in military action in Syria, announced his unequivocal support for the targeted bombings.

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.

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He also expressed doubt the claims about chemical weapons use by the Assad regime, suggesting it was a fabrication by the West as a pretext for intervention in the country.

A top Pentagon official, Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie, said the action would set back Syria's chemical weapons program "for years".

"Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military", Trump added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced the air strikes and said they were an "act of aggression" that will only worsen the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria, AP reported.

The Syrian government surrendered its stockpiles of chemical weapons during a process monitored by the OPCW in 2014. Syrian TV showed video of the rubble of one target which appeared to have been destroyed by a missile strike. He also described the use of chemical weapons as "abhorrent" and called on the Security Council to agree on a dedicated mechanism to assure accountability for chemical weapons use in Syria. Antonio Guterres, the United Nations secretary general, urged restraint to avoid escalation in the region.

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The U.S. had no coordination or agreements with Russians before the strike, McKenzie said. "We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences".