Iran's Rouhani wants chemical attack in Syria investigated

Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a stern warning about the

Announcing the assault from his Florida resort, Trump said there was no doubt Syrian President Bashar Assad was responsible for the chemical attack, which he said employed banned gases and killed dozens.

The US and United Kingdom blame Russian Federation for being complicit in the deaths of Syrian civilians in last week's chemical attack.

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he was preparing further economic sanctions against Syria. Its aftermath, with Russia accusing the USA of violating Syria's sovereignty and a scrapped deal to prevent air clashes with US jets, also puts Russian under more pressure than before to reign in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Russian Federation said on Wednesday that the chemical attack was caused when rebel chemical munitions workshops were hit by a Syrian airstrike.

USA officials informed Russian forces ahead of the missile strikes on and avoided hitting Russian personnel.

A senior military official suggested that was an attempt "to hide the evidence of a chemical attack".

It followed days of outrage at images of dead children and victims suffering convulsions from the suspected sarin gas attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun. That theory was ridiculed by Western experts on Syrian military and other analysts.

Syrian authorities condemned the USA missile strike, terming it a "flawed US strategy" that "makes the USA a partner of Islamic State and [the al-Nusra Front] and other terrorist organizations".

Russia, meanwhile, opened fire in its own war of words with Washington.

Trudeau said that about an hour before the U.S. attack, U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis called Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, who then briefed the prime minister.

Still, the assault risks plunging America into the middle of Syria's conflict, complicating the safety of the hundreds of US forces fighting a separate campaign against the Islamic State group in the north of the country. It is also closing down a hotline with the U.S. created to avoid collisions between their air forces over Syria, the BBC report added. US officials said he had the right to use force to defend national interests and to protect civilians from atrocities. They confirmed it had been used to warn Russian Federation of the US missile strike in advance, and that it remained operational afterwards.

Watch: What is a Tomahawk? Military experts told VOA that Tomahawk missiles were used in the attack because precision strikes were necessary.

One American military official said the action in Syria early Friday was "appropriate, proportionate, precise and effective".

Early assessments indicated the US successfully targeted about 20 aircraft, storage facilities, ammunition supply bunkers and radars, yet doubts are beginning to emerge about the missile strike's effectiveness.

The attack prompted the United States to fire 59 cruise missiles into a Syrian air base from which it said the attack was launched.

Downing Street was swift to offer its backing for the United States action, which was also supported by Israel, Australia, France, Germany and European Council president Donald Tusk.

Gabbard also said that efforts to overthrow Assad would only strengthen extremist groups, and expressed concerns about Moscow's response to the missile strikes.

Turnbull described Trump's decision to take decisive action against the Assad regime as "swift and just".

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told an emergency session of the Security Council that the US had acted to ensure that the Syrian President would never use chemical weapons again. "I think it is likely that Russian Federation did warn Syria".

"We need to now move forward through a combination of diplomacy and, quite frankly, the support of groups on ground, particularly non-jihadist Sunni groups, to create alternatives to the Assad regimen", he said.

"We think it is a good move, because we have been asking for it for a long time", a Western diplomatic official told VOA on condition of anonymity, adding that while it is clear Assad can not remain in power, no one has yet to present a clear path to agreement on a suitable replacement.

In an MSNBC interview yesterday morning, McCain said the move "restores credibility" to the U.S. and provides a chance to "reboot". "We have the credibility".

"My priority is now to continue contact with the USA and others in the run-up to the G7 meeting on 10-11 April - to build coordinated worldwide support for a ceasefire on the ground and an intensified political process", Johnson said.



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