'The time for talk ended last night,' says Ambassador Haley on S - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

'The time for talk ended last night,' says Ambassador Haley on Syria strikes

This image shows the damage to the Syrian Scientific Research Center which was attacked by U.S., British and French military strikes Friday. (Source:SANA/AP Photos) This image shows the damage to the Syrian Scientific Research Center which was attacked by U.S., British and French military strikes Friday. (Source:SANA/AP Photos)
The sky over Syria’s capital, Damascus, lights up with surface-to-air missile fire as the U.S. launches an attack on Syria. President Trump announced airstrikes in retaliation for the country's alleged use of chemical weapons. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) The sky over Syria’s capital, Damascus, lights up with surface-to-air missile fire as the U.S. launches an attack on Syria. President Trump announced airstrikes in retaliation for the country's alleged use of chemical weapons. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
A map of American, British and French bases in the region. (Source: CNN) A map of American, British and French bases in the region. (Source: CNN)
Syrian soldiers wave weapons and national flags as they chant slogans against the U.S. during demonstrations following a wave of U.S., British and French military strikes. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) Syrian soldiers wave weapons and national flags as they chant slogans against the U.S. during demonstrations following a wave of U.S., British and French military strikes. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
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(RNN) - President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday morning saying that U.S. led military strikes in Syria Friday night were successful.

"A perfectly executed strike last night," Trump said. "Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!"

The strikes were in response to a suspected gas attack on the rebel-held city of Douma last weekend.

Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie said 105 weapons were launched against three chemical weapons targets in Syria.

"We are confident that all our missiles hit their target," said McKenzie of the multinational effort. "Since the strike, we have not seen any military response from actors in Syria."

The attack was intended to cripple the Syrian chemical weapons program, McKenzie said.

There were no reported Syrian civilian casualties, he said. 

Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said the U.S. would not tolerate the use of chemical weapons anywhere in the world. 

"These strikes were a direct and proportionate response against Syria's use of chemical weapons," White said. “Our goal in Syria remains defeating ISIS. We cannot allow such grievous violations of international law."

White also called on Russia to “honor its commitment to ensure" Syria disarmed its chemical weapons program.

"What happens next depends on what the Assad regime decides to do," she said.

The responses were "justified, legitimate and proportionate," said. U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, who condemned Russian support of Syria during an emergency UN Security Council meeting Saturday. The meeting was called by Russian President Vladimir Putin who condemned the attack.

"We're here today because three permanent members of the United Nations Security Council acted," she said. "We acted to deter the future use of chemical weapons by holding the Syria regime responsible for its atrocities against humanity. We cannot stand by and let Russia trash every international norm we stand for." 

Haley said the U.S. is "locked and loaded" if Syria used poisonous gas again.

The Russian military said Saturday morning that the U.S. and its allies launched more than 100 cruise and air-to-ground missiles, and that Syrian air defense units shot down 71 out of 103 cruise missiles that the U.S., France and the U.K. launched.

A military spokesman also pointed out that Syria's Russian-made air defense system shot down all 12 cruise missiles that were aimed at a Syrian air base, the AP reported.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Saturday strikes would increase Syria's resolve to "fight and crush terrorism in every inch" of the country.

Assad appeared on Syrian television walking into an office building Saturday morning which was the first time he was seen since the targeted strikes.

Trump announced the strikes in a televised address to the nation Friday, saying the attack on Douma was "the crime of a monster" in his address.

"Tonight I ask all Americans to say a prayer for our noble warriors and our allies as they carry out their missions," he said.

Chinese officials have condemned the strike saying it opposed military action in Syria.

"As always, we oppose the use of force in international relations and call for respect for other countries' sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity," according to a statement from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying. 

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the goal of the strikes was to "destroy the Syrian regime's chemical weapons research, development and production capabilities."

He added no further strikes were planned: "Right now this is a one-time shot."

Mattis said that Russia, which has allied itself with Bashar al-Assad's regime, was not consulted or warned about the airstrikes.

Gen. Dunford said one target in the strike was a scientific research center located in the greater Damascus area - a center for research, development and testing of "chemical and biological warfare technology." 

He said the other two targets were storage facilities for chemical weapons and equipment near the central city of Homs, with one of the targets also containing "an important command post."

Russian officials were quick to weigh in on the strike.

Putin himself released a statement through the Kremlin on Saturday morning, condemning the "attack on Syria," and calling it an "act of aggression against a sovereign state" that will worsen the humanitarian crisis in the country.

Putin's subordinates had already had their say.

"A pre-designed scenario is being implemented. Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences," the Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said.

Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said on her Facebook page that, "One must be really exceptional to strike Syria's capital when the country finally got a chance for a peaceful future."

Russia's Defense Ministry said that none of the missiles entered zones guarded by Russia's missile defense system.

"Not one of the cruise missiles launched by the United States and its partners entered the zone of responsibility for Russian air-defense divisions," the ministry said in a statement Saturday.

Syrian state-run television reported that three civilians had been wounded in the missile attack on a military base in the city of Homs.

Early Saturday morning, State TV also broadcast footage of hundreds of Syrians demonstrating against the U.S. and its allies in the landmark Omayyad Square in Damascus. The demonstrators waved victory signs - and Syrian, Russian and Iranian flags - clapped their hands, danced and honked their car horns. Some demonstrators shouted: "We are your men, Bashar!"

The Syrian Armed Forces said in a statement that 110 missiles were fired, and that Syrian defense systems "intercepted most of the missiles but some hit targets including the Research Center in Barzeh."

The statement went on the say that the Assad regime "will not discourage our armed forces and supporting forces from continuing to crush the remnant of terrorist groups across Syria."

The Iranian government condemned the attack.

"The attack is the blatant violation of international laws, as well as ignoring the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria," foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said, as Iran's state news agency reported.

Officials from nations including Israel, Australia and Turkey expressed support for the overnight strikes in Syria.

"Last year, President Trump made clear that the use of chemical weapons crosses a red line. Tonight, under American leadership, the United States, France and the United Kingdom enforced that line," an Israeli official said.

Australia Defense Minister Marise Payne praised the attack.

"Australia supports these strikes, which demonstrate a calibrated, proportionate and targeted response. They send an unequivocal message to the Assad regime and its backers, Russia and Iran, that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated," she said.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry called the strikes an "appropriate response" to the chemical attacks in Douma.

"We welcome this operation which has eased humanity’s conscience in the face of the attack in Douma, largely suspected to have been carried out by the regime," the ministry said in a statement.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also praised the strikes, calling them a "necessary and appropriate" response to the chemical attack.

French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May released their own statements on the strike late Friday.

May said, "We cannot allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalized."

On Saturday morning, May added that the U.K. took action against the Assad regime to reinforce international norms, and that the use of a "nerve agent on Britain's streets is part of a systematic pattern of disregarding these norms" - a reference to a former Russian spy and his daughter who were poisoned in the U.K.; Russia is suspected to be behind the poisonings.

Macron said of the use of chemical weapons, "The red line set by France in May 2017 has been crossed." 

Both May and Macron said strong evidence pointed to the Assad regime committing the Douma massacre.

On Saturday morning, French Defense Minister Florence Parly said that French fighter jets took off from multiple bases in France for the strike. Parly said the French military used missile-equipped frigates in the Mediterranean for the strike, which she said targeted a "main research center" for chemical weapons and "two important production sites."

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also spoke with reporters Saturday morning, saying that the operation was designed to target the Assad regime for its use of chemical weapons, and not Syrian civilians or Syrian allies.

There were wide reports of further targets, including from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, and explosions at multiple sites in Damascus.

One was said to be the Syrian Republican Guard headquarters on Mount Qasioun. 

Mount Qasioun, in the east of Damascus, is near where the palace of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad is located.

A Syrian opposition official, Hadi Al Bahra, also tweeted "the first missile targeted an area in Mount Qasioun."

According to the AP, state TV said Syrian air defenses had responded. The Syrians claimed to have shot down 13 missiles.

Video circulated of the Syrian response.

CNN reported U.S. ships and aircraft were used in the strikes. It was not known if U.S pilots were flying over Syrian airspace, however, Mattis did say "manned aircraft" were involved in the airstrikes.

U.S. Defense officials told CNN that air-launched cruise missiles were used in the strikes. CNN also reported that the U.S. used B-1 bombers, which are capable of firing cruise missiles.

British forces used four RAF Tornado GR4s, which launched Storm Shadow missiles at a regime chemical weapons facility, according to the British Ministry of Defense.

There are 192 signatories to the United Nations' Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Syria joined the pact in 2013 as part of the agreement to destroy its chemical weapons stockpile, negotiated between Russia and the Obama administration.

There have been periodic allegations of chlorine attacks and other types of chemical weapons use by the Syrian regime since then, however.

According to the World Health Organization, the attack on Douma by the Assad regime may have exposed around 500 people to toxic chemicals. 

Graphic images of small children being treated by medics and bodies foaming at the mouth circulated after the attack. More than 40 people were believed killed.

Russia claims the chemical attack was staged. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday that Moscow has "irrefutable information that it was another fabrication."

Earlier this week, missiles were launched at the T-4 airbase in central Homs Governorate. Russia and Syria blamed Israel for the strikes.

Following a sarin attack on Syrian civilians in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in April 2017, Trump ordered strikes on the Shayrat air base in Homs. 

In that strike, 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched from the USS Ross and USS Porter in the Mediterranean. They destroyed or damaged a number of Syrian military aircraft and infrastructure at the base.

The Syrians said as many as 16 people were killed in the strikes, including nine civilians in the surrounding area.

Operations resumed at the air base just a couple days later.

Copyright 2018 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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