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POSTED | 15:46 PM | 14-04-2018

Trump hails assault on Syria

US President Donald Trump on Saturday (April 14, 2018) hailed a US-led missile assault on Syria’s regime as “perfectly executed,” despite the limited nature of the strikes and Russia’s condemnation, which further heightened tensions between the Cold War foes.

The UN Security Council was set to meet at Moscow’s request at 1500 GMT over the operation, which was unleashed by the US, Britain and France in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack on the rebel-held town of Douma.

The strikes were targeted to inflict maximum damage on sites linked to chemical weapons development. A top Pentagon official, Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie, said the action would set back Syria’s chemical weapons program “for years.”

The sounds of massive explosions rang out across Damascus just before dawn on Saturday, ushering in 45 minutes of explosions and the roar of warplanes, an AFP correspondent in the city said.

Flashes flared in the distance and by daybreak, plumes of smoke could be seen rising from the city’s north and east.

“A perfectly executed strike last night. Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military,” Trump tweeted early on Saturday.

“Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!”

Both the regime of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and its ally Russia have denied all responsibility for the deadly Douma attack, and Moscow slammed the “aggressive actions” of the Western coalition, but it has not yet responded militarily.

US President Donald Trump announced the joint action against Assad's regime from the White House late Friday.

Trump said the strikes were a direct response to the April 7 attack on Douma, outside Damascus, that rescuers and monitors say killed more than 40 people.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis called the strikes a “one-time shot” with no additional military action planned for now.

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