Trump Attacks Syria
By HELENE COOPER, MICHAEL D. SHEAR and BEN HUBBARD
April 14, 2018 "Information Clearing House" - President Trump said on Friday he had ordered strikes on Syrian targets, seeking to punish President Bashar al-Assad for a suspected chemical attack near Damascus that killed more than 40 people.
Mr. Trump said Britain and France had joined the United States in the strikes.
The strikes risked pulling the United States deeper into the complex, multi-sided war in Syria from which Mr. Trump only last week said he wanted to withdraw. They also raised the possibility of confrontation with Russia and Iran, both of which have military forces in Syria to support Mr. Assad.
In choosing to strike, it appeared that Mr. Trump’s desire to punish Mr. Assad for what he called a “barbaric act” — and make good on his tweets promising action this week — outweighed his desire to limit the United States’ military involvement in the conflict, at least in the short term.Continue
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Theresa May confirms British armed forces are involved in a combined operation with the US and France to strike Syria.
This evening I have authorised British armed forces to conduct co-ordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the Syrian Regime's chemical weapons capability and deter their use.
We are acting together with our American and French allies.
In Douma, last Saturday a chemical weapons attack killed up to 75 people, including young children, in circumstances of pure horror.
The fact of this attack should surprise no-one.
The Syrian Regime has a history of using chemical weapons against its own people in the most cruel and abhorrent way.
And a significant body of information including intelligence indicates the Syrian Regime is responsible for this latest attack.
This persistent pattern of behaviour must be stopped - not just to protect innocent people in Syria from the horrific deaths and casualties caused by chemical weapons but also because we cannot allow the erosion of the international norm that prevents the use of these weapons.
We have sought to use every possible diplomatic channel to achieve this.
But our efforts have been repeatedly thwarted. Even this week the Russians vetoed a Resolution at the UN Security Council which would have established an independent investigation into the Douma attack.
So there is no practicable alternative to the use of force to degrade and deter the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Regime.
This is not about intervening in a civil war. It is not about regime change.
It is about a limited and targeted strike that does not further escalate tensions in the region and that does everything possible to prevent civilian casualties.
And while this action is specifically about deterring the Syrian Regime, it will also send a clear signal to anyone else who believes they can use chemical weapons with impunity.
At this time, my thoughts are with our brave British servicemen and women - and our French and American partners - who are carrying out their duty with the greatest professionalism.
The speed with which we are acting is essential in co-operating with our partners to alleviate further humanitarian suffering and to maintain the vital security of our operations.
This is the first time as Prime Minister that I have had to take the decision to commit our armed forces in combat - and it is not a decision I have taken lightly.
I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain's national interest.
We cannot allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised - within Syria, on the streets of the UK, or anywhere else in our world.
We would have preferred an alternative path. But on this occasion there is none.
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