“If the previous attack was a slap on the wrist, this is perhaps a slap on the face but nothing that destabilizes the Assad regime in any fundamental way”, said Ayham Kamel, head of Middle East and North Africa research at Eurasia Group.
Moments after the announcement, loud blasts could be heard from the capital and large plumes of smoke emerged from its northern and eastern edges.
SANA reported that the joint operation was targeting military installations around Damascus and near the central city of Homs. The Pentagon held a briefing on the latest development of the strike in Syria.
These hardliners, along with influential United States allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, want Washington to counter Iran’s growing power in Syria – even if it means risking a perilous stand-off with Russian Federation.
Speaking to reporters after a closed emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, Nebenzia said Russian Federation was very concerned with “the risky escalation” of the situation and “aggressive policies” and preparations that some governments were making – a clear reference to the Trump administration and its allies.
About 120 missiles targeted three main sites: a research centre near Damascus; a storage facility near Homs, thought to be the “primary location” of Syrian sarin gas; and a nearby storage facility that also served as a command post. He added that Syria’s air defenses were ineffective and that numerous more than 40 surface-to-air missiles fired by the Syrians were launched after the allied attack was over.
Sharif Shehadeh, a former Syrian lawmaker, said the attack had backfired.
In the aftermath of the attack, the western powers set out their justification for military action that was carried out without a mandate from the United Nations and in the face of criticism from Assad’s allies Russian Federation and Iran.
The Syrian government has repeatedly dismissed the alleged chemical attack in Douma as fabrication by the rebels and their foreign supporters to justify military strikes on Syria.
Syria’s foreign ministry said the strikes aimed to block their work.
The U.S. military has about 2,000 troops in Syria, mostly in the northeast of the country where they are supporting a local alliance of militias battling the Islamic State.
The ministry said it was an “attempt to block the exposure of their lies and fabrications”.
“More than 100 cruise missiles and air-to-land missiles were fired by the US, Britain and France from the sea and air at Syrian military and civilian targets”, the Russian defense ministry said in a statement quoted by RIA Novosti news agency, adding that “a significant number” were shot down by Syrian air defenses.
In 2013, he said, “we should stay the hell out of Syria” and “Let the Arab League take care of Syria”.
Russian Federation on Saturday called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council as Moscow said it would consider supplying S-300 missile systems to Syria following USA -led strikes.
Russian Federation is reportedly warning that the US actions will not be without consequences.
– The Russian embassy in the United States said it had warned that such actions would “not be left without consequences”, adding that insulting President Vladimir Putin was “unacceptable and inadmissible”.
Defense officials said the USA -led strikes did encounter some initial resistance from Syrian air defense systems, but that it appears Russian defense systems did not engage.
The Syrian regime acknowledged it held a stockpile of chemical weapons that are banned under global law though, since then, it has denied using them.
“The Americans are telling them: Before, you were getting a huge advantage because of our absence, it’s no longer the case now”, he said.
It said that none of the Western strikes in Syria had hit areas covered by Russia’s air defences around its Hmeimim air base and naval facility in Tartus.
President Donald Trump on Saturday 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. Trump denounced the “evil and despicable attack”, calling it a crime fit for “a monster”. Just weeks ago, Trump said he wanted to end US involvement in Syria and bring American troops home to focus on the homeland.
It also followed the purported use of chemical weapons there on April 7, which activists say killed over 40 people in the town and led to Saturday’s airstrikes by the West.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the West’s response was “necessary and appropriate”.