U.S. vows to keep up pressure on Syria after missile strikes

Posted April 19, 2017

"Although the strike will further weaken the overall air defence and ground attack capabilities of the (Syrian air force), it will not significantly diminish the ability of the Assad regime to conduct further chemical weapons attacks", wrote analyst Reed Foster of the defence and intelligence publication Jane's.

Tuesday's chemical attack killed at least 100 people and injured more than 500.

Videos from inside the Shayrat air base - used to launch warplanes to strike opposition-held areas throughout Syria - showed fighter jets and hangars destroyed and runways pocked with holes after Friday's strike.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said the strikes were "a limited but necessary response" and called on Trump to "develop a comprehensive strategy to end Syria's civil war".

That includes a careful assessment of any information that could indicate Moscow knew about or assisted with the attack, the official said on condition that he not be named.

Haley said the US was prepared to take further action in Syria but hoped it wouldn't be necessary.

"We will react firmly to any aggression against Syria and to any infringement of red lines, whoever carries them out", it said in a statement carried on the website of Al-Watan, a newspaper close to the Syrian regime.

Syria's government denied it carried out any chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun, and Russia's Defense Ministry said the toxic agents were released when a Syrian airstrike hit a rebel chemical weapons arsenal and munitions factory on the town's eastern outskirts.

The US strikes against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad indicated a U-turn from the statements expressed by the administration of former President Barack Obama, as well as the Trump administration.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson canceled a planned trip to Russian Federation because of fast-moving events in Syria.

In Saudi Arabia, the official Saudi Press Agency reported that Trump has spoken by telephone with King Salman about the USA missile strike on Syria.

He declined to say whether Trump now believed Assad should relinquish power.

On Friday, senior US military officials were looking more closely at possible Russian involvement in the poison attack.

Trump said he ordered the airstrike on the Shayrat base because the United States believed aircraft that carried out the chemical attack were launched from there.

Russian Federation flatly denies the allegations.

"I discussed these plans in detail with Secretary Tillerson", Johnson said, adding that the U.S. foreign minister would still visit Moscow as planned following the G7 meeting to "deliver that clear and coordinated message to the Russians".

Russian Senator Alexey Pushkov said that the disappointment was "mutual" and suggested that Tillerson's comments were made to gain "leverage" in upcoming US-Russia talks.

"A flagrant violation of worldwide law and an act of aggression", Vladimir Safronkowl, Russia's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, said. "I hope this teaches President Assad not to use chemical weapons again".

Rouhani said that "neutral countries should come and assess to make it clear where the chemical weapons came from".