US, France, Britain launch strikes on Syria: Trump

US, France, Britain launch strikes on Syria: Trump, by Andrew Beatty.

The United States, Britain and France launched punitive military strikes against Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime in response to its latest alleged chemical weapons atrocity, President Donald Trump announced Friday.

Shortly after Trump began a White House address to announce the action, large explosions were heard in the Syrian capital Damascus, signalling a new chapter in a brutal seven-year-old civil war.

“A short time ago, I ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad,” Trump said in a primetime televised speech to the nation. …

Proof?

Moscow denied its ally Assad had any role in the outrage, pushing a variety of alternative theories that peaked with a claim that Britain had staged the event.

More practically, at the United Nations, Russia’s diplomats vetoed a US motion to re-establish an international investigation into chemical weapons use in Syria that could have established blame.

Washington, Paris and London have nevertheless insisted that their own secret intelligence points to Assad’s guilt, and on Friday, a US spokeswoman said they had “proof.”