US President Donald Trump and his British and French allies hailed their joint strikes in Syria in response to its alleged use of chemical weapons, warning Damascus that any repetition would be met with renewed firepower.
Hours later, the allies signaled their resolve to return to diplomacy, launching a new bid at the United Nations to investigate the chemical weapons attacks.
They circulated a joint draft resolution at the Security Council that also calls for unimpeded deliveries of humanitarian aid and enforcement of a ceasefire and demands that Syria engage in UN-led peace talks, according to CNBC.
The narrowly targeted pre-dawn military operation, which took aim at three alleged chemical weapons facilities, earned quick scorn from Russia, but a push by Moscow for condemnation of the strikes at the Security Council fell far short.
Trump and his allies ordered the mission in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack a week ago on the rebel-held town of Douma that left more than 40 people dead.
Washington believes both sarin and chlorine were used in the April 7 attack, a senior US administration official told reporters on Saturday.
Russia responded angrily to a U.S.-led strike against Syria, warning of unspecified “consequences” that stoked fears the conflict could escalate.
President Donald Trump ordered targeted military action in the country late Friday, following an alleged chemical weapons attack that reportedly left dozens of citizens dead. In recent months, international efforts to broker a ceasefire and organize a humanitarian response to the country’s crisis have faltered in the face of stiff opposition from both Russia and Syria.
Russia, which has backed the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, has joined Damascus in denying an attack even took place — even though U.S. authorities have declared it did with near certainty. The dispute over Syria was the latest wedge between the West and Russia, which has been embroiled in multiple controversies with western governments.
In a statement released on Twitter, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. said the country was being “threatened,” and issued an ominous warning that reprisals could follow. Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, branded the coalition strike as an “act of aggression,” as he demanded an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council on Saturday.
Statement by the Ambassador Antonov on the strikes on #Syria:
A pre-designed scenario is being implemented. Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences.
All responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris. pic.twitter.com/QEmWEffUzx
— Russia in USA 🇷🇺 (@RusEmbUSA) April 14, 2018
Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in Saturday’s Pentagon briefing that there has been a “2,000% increase in Russian trolls in the last 24 hours,” following the coordinated strike against Syria, Axios reported.
The bottom line: The problem of Russian actors generating division and conflict among Americans isn’t going away. Senator Ben Sasse said in a statement on Saturday that this illustrates what “the wars of the future will look like…The fog of war will not be limited to our situation rooms and battlefields.”
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
April 15th, 2018