God damn you, Trump: Syrians in Damascus react to US-led airstrikes

\God damn you, Trump\: Syrians in Damascus react to US-led airstrikes
Putin slams Syria airstrike but Russias response is expected to be muted
On Saturday, April 7, I awoke to catch a breaking story on CTVs news channel. It was being reported that a chemical weapons attack had been carried out in a rebel held town in Syria.

Veteran news anchorman Brad Griffin deadpanned a warning to viewers that the video images they were about to see were graphic and disturbing.

Donald Trump still wants American troops in Syria to return home as soon as possible, the White House says, after Emmanuel Macron said he had convinced the US President to keep a US presence there for “the long term”.

The shaky footage depicted a number of individuals animatedly washing the alleged victims with water hoses. None of them were wearing any form of gas mask or protective clothing.

The White House statement comes after the French President said he had persuaded the US President to stay in Syria.

Video: A closer look at the three sites targeted in Syria

One young girl about three years old was crying loudly — as would any three-year-old being doused vigorously with cold water. One helper is shown holding another toddler face down while he forcefully gave him thumps on his back as though to dislodge a food particle stuck in the young lads throat.

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Syrians displaced near capital now have enough to eat

While not graphic, it was certainly disturbing to see such a clumsy attempt to portray the aftermath of a chemical weapon attack. Further footage showed a rebel — this time wearing an old gas mask, but still without a hazmat suit, pointing at a 225-kilogram unexploded barrel bomb that was lying on a single bed amid some plaster and debris.

Putin slams Syria airstrike but Russias response is expected to be muted
Putin slams Syria airstrike but Russias response is expected to be muted

This is what missile attack did to Syrias chemical weapons program

While I cannot disprove the allegation that this was a chemical bomb dropped by the Syrian air force, I can state with some authority that it must be one hell of a sturdy bed frame.

The United States, France and Britain have said the missile strikes were limited to Syrias chemical weapons capabilities and not aimed at toppling Assad or intervening in the civil war. Macron said in an interview broadcast by BFM TV, RMC radio and Mediapart online news that he had convinced Trump to focus on the chemical weapons sites.

Putin warns of global chaos if West hits Syria again

A 225-kilogram projectile dropped from an altitude which would have at least allowed it to reach terminal velocity, penetrates a ceiling without detonating and then gently comes to rest on a small cot? That seems like one hell of an unlucky break for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. We know that he uses barrel bombs, so he must be the one to blame. Case closed.

Which brings us to the next question, which is, why would Assad resort to the use of chemical weapons? And why now? The targeted area was the Eastern Ghouta town of Douma, which at the time of the alleged gas attack was under the control of radical Islamist rebels, and heavily besieged by Assad loyalists. Backed by the Russian military, the Syrians had the upper hand in Douma and were negotiating a ceasefire with the extremist rebels.

Vladimir Putin foresees global chaos if US-led coalition attacks Syria again
Vladimir Putin foresees global chaos if US-led coalition attacks Syria again

Russias Putin predicts global chaos if West hits Syria again

That truce subsequently did take place last Thursday with the Islamist fighters relinquishing control of the town to Syrian and Russian forces in exchange for re-location to another rebel-held region of Syria.

We are determined to completely crush ISIS [Daesh] and create the conditions that will prevent its return. she said. In addition we expect our regional allies and partners to take greater responsibility both militarily and financially for securing the region.

So, on the verge of a battlefield victory, why would Assad be so stupid as to employ the one weapon which almost guarantees the condemnation of the world? It also seems rather short-sighted to hurl barrel bombs full of chlorine gas and nerve agents into an area that you know your own soldiers are about to occupy.

The American (military) knows well that going towards a wide confrontation and a big operation against the regime and the army and the allied forces in Syria could not end, and any such confrontation would inflame the entire region, Nasrallah said.

Although no independent investigation has been conducted, Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, has claimed: We definitely have enough proof. French President Emmanuel Macron echoed the claim, saying he too has proof, and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May concluded it was highly likely that Assad is to blame for employing chemical weapons at Douma.

In a telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, Putin and Rouhani agreed that the Western strikes had damaged the chances of achieving a political resolution in the seven-year Syria conflict, according to a Kremlin statement.

Video: Did US-led strike on Assad regime raise the stakes in Syria?

U.S. President Donald Trump took to the Twittersphere to warn Russia that American missiles will be coming against the Syrian military in retaliation for the alleged gas attack. That threat became a reality with a series of missile strikes against Syrian targets on Friday night.

Russian agencies quoted the lawmakers as saying that Assad was in a good mood, had praised the Soviet-era air defence systems Syria used to repel the Western attacks and had accepted an invitation to visit Russia at an unspecified time.

Just to recap what we need to swallow in order to accept the presumption of Assads guilt and Russias complicity: 1) A group of Syrian Islamist extremists is on their last legs and about to capitulate. 2) Unable to restrain his urge to kill his own people, Assad unwisely drops barrel bombs of toxic chemicals on the rebel enclave. 3) The victims include children, which naturally incenses the civilized world. Remember nobody gave a rats when the U.S. dropped the mother-of-all-bombs on Islamist extremists in Afghanistan because the U.S. assured us that no innocent children or family pets were killed in the blast.

Responding to Haleys remarks about the plans for new sanctions, Evgeny Serebrennikov, deputy head of the defence committee of Russias upper house of parliament, said Moscow was ready for the penalties, according to RIA news agency.

So, essentially, the U.S. are now assisting Syrian Islamic extremists in their efforts to punish Assad, who is allied with nuclear superpower Russia. And at the epicentre of this potential apocalypse is one unbelievably strong bed frame.

MOSCOW/DAMASCUS: Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Sunday that further Western attacks on Syria would bring chaos to world affairs, as Washington prepared to increase pressure on Russia with new economic sanctions.
Syrians displaced near capital now have enough to eat
Syrians displaced near capital now have enough to eat

Western companies are not welcome in Syria to help with the rebuild

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that further Western attacks on Syria would bring "chaos" to world affairs, as Washington has said it is preparing to increase pressure on Russia with new economic sanctions.

In a telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, Mr Putin and Mr Rouhani agreed that the Western strikes had damaged the chances of achieving a political resolution in the seven-year Syria conflict, according to a Kremlin statement.

In Damascus, Syrias deputy foreign minister, Faisal Mekdad, met inspectors from the global chemical weapons watchdog OPCW for about three hours in the presence of Russian officers and a senior Syrian security official.

Mr Putin said: "If such actions, carried out in violation of the United Nations Charter, are repeated, that would inevitably provoke chaos in international relations," according to a statement from the Kremlin.

The two leaders "found that this illegal action seriously damaged the prospects of a political settlement in Syria," the statement said.

Mr Putin denounced "with the utmost firmness" the strikes which he described as "an act of aggression against a sovereign state which is at the forefront of the fight against terrorism".

May likely to face tough grilling in Commons over Syria air strikes

Meanwhile, US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley has said that the United States would announce new economic sanctions on Monday aimed at companies "that were dealing with equipment" related to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's alleged chemical weapons use.

Oil, gold open lower despite Syria strikes; Russian retaliation in focus

On Saturday, the United States, France and Britain launched 105 missiles targeting what the Pentagon said were three chemical weapons facilities in Syria in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack in Douma on 7 April.

Video: Syria denounces the US-led attack

The Western countries blame Assad for the Douma attack that killed dozens of people.

The Syrian government and its ally Russia have denied involvement in any such attack.

The bombings marked the biggest intervention by Western countries against Assad and ally Russia but the United States, France and Britain have said the missile strikes were limited to Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities and not aimed at toppling Assad or intervening in the civil war.

In Damascus, Syria's deputy foreign minister met inspectors from the global chemical weapons watchdog OPCW for about three hours in the presence of Russian officers and a senior Syrian security official.

Moscow condemned the Western states for refusing to wait for the OPCW's findings before attacking.

President Assad told a group of visiting Russian officials that the Western missile strikes were an act of aggression.

Syria released video of the wreckage of a bombed-out research lab, but also of Assad arriving at work as usual, with the caption "morning of resilience" and there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Russian agencies quoted the officials as saying that Assad was in a "good mood", had praised the Soviet-era air defence systems Syria used to repel the Western attacks and had accepted an invitation to visit Russia at an unspecified time.

Mr Trump had said "mission accomplished" on Twitter after the strikes, though US Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie at the Pentagon acknowledged elements of the programme remain and he could not guarantee that Syria would be unable to conduct a chemical attack in the future.

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Russian and Iranian military help over the past three years has allowed Assad to crush the rebel threat to topple him.

US plans new sanctions on Russia after Syria strike

Though Israel has at times urged stronger US involvement against Assad and his Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah reinforcements in Syria, it voiced backing for Saturdays airstrikes by Western powers.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet in broadcast remarks that Israel fully supports President Trump’s decision to act against the use of chemical weapons in Syria, adding that he had commended his British counterpart, Theresa May, in a phone call.

France, the United States and Britain circulated a draft resolution to the UN Security Council late on Saturday that aims to establish a new independent inquiry into who is to responsible for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

The mechanism would look at cases where the OPCW fact-finding mission has established chemical weapons were used or likely used.

Diplomats said negotiations on the draft resolution would begin on Monday and it was not immediately clear when the United States, France and Britain wanted to put it to a vote.

Following yesterday's air strikes, British foreign minister Boris Johnson has said western powers will study "options" if Syria's government again uses chemical weapons, but nothing is planned as yet.

Mr Johnson made the comments following raids on Syrian targets, which triggered a heated debate over their legality and effectiveness.

Speaking on BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Mr Johnson threw his weight behind UK Prime Minister Theresa May's decision to take part in the attack, saying it was the right thing to do to deter further use of chemical weapons.

"There is no proposal on the table at the moment for further attacks because so far – thank heavens – the Assad regime have not been so foolish as to launch another chemical weapons attack," he said.

He added: "If and when such a thing were to happen, then clearly with allies we would study what the options were."

His comments appeared in line with those of Ms Haley, who said at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council that President Donald Trump told her that if Syria uses poisonous gas again, "The United States is locked and loaded."

British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said that the legal basis used to support the British role was debatable, adding that he would only support action backed by the United Nations Security Council.

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