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Dhaka Tribune

US, Britain, France launch air strikes in Syria

Update : 14 Apr 2018, 09:02 AM
The United States, British, and French forces pounded Syria with air strikes early Saturday in response to a poison gas attack that killed dozens of people last week, in the biggest intervention by Western powers against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. US President Donald Trump announced the military action from the White House late on Friday. As he spoke, explosions rocked Damascus. British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron said the UK and France had joined in the attack. Trump said he was prepared to sustain the response until Assad's government stopped its use of chemical weapons. The strikes were the biggest intervention by Western powers against Assad in the country’s seven-year-old civil war and pitted the United States and its allies against Russia, which itself intervened in the war in 2015 to back Assad. A US official told Reuters the strikes were aimed at multiple targets and involved Tomahawk cruise missiles. At least six loud explosions were heard in Damascus in the early hours of Saturday and smoke was seen rising over the Syrian capital, a Reuters witness said. A second witness said the Barzah district of Damascus had been hit in the strikes. Barzah is the location of a major Syrian scientific research centre. At a Pentagon briefing, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford said the targets included a Syrian research facility and a chemical weapons storage facility. A second US official said targets were being carefully selected with the aim of damaging Assad’s ability to conduct further gas attacks, while avoiding the risk of spreading poisonous fallout in civilian areas.
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