Russian Federation to Suspend Syria Airspace Deal With US
Apr 09 2017 by Joshua Bennett
"The big question for all those who are engaged in military action in Syria is what is their plan to stop the killing and bring a durable peace that can deliver a modicum of hope to the people of Syria?".
US officials say it was the launching pad for a chemical attack that killed more than 80 people in Idlib province.
Their presence makes air strikes by manned U.S. aircraft unlikely and for Washington the Tomahawk cruise missile will remain the weapon of choice. And Syrian rebel groups also called for even stronger action against the Assad regime.
Two warships - the USS Ross and the USS Porter - fired 59 cruise missiles from the eastern Mediterranean Sea at the air base just as the two presidents were finishing their meals.
USA officials said the air base targeted was most likely the one used to launch the chemical attack.
The reality is that Trump's presidency has grown increasingly unpopular, wrought by internal disarray, federal investigations, allegations of corruption and a stunning incompetence in worldwide affairs.
Trump has frequently urged improved relations with Russian Federation, strained under Obama over Syria, Ukraine and other issues, but he said action had to be taken against Assad.
On Thursday, Trump talked about the US airstrikes from Florida, where he has been meeting with China's president.
Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas said the missile attack struck "the right tone", and Dick Durbin of IL, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, said the strike was "a measured response".
Some Syrians in San Diego on Friday applauded a US missile strike on a Syrian government airbase, while others condemned the action by President Donald Trump.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said following Donald Trump's decision to fire 59 cruise missiles at a military target in Syria on Thursday, Moscow was suspending a memorandum with the United States that prevented incidents and ensured flight safety. "This would be a great opportunity for the president to reconsider his previous statements and to think about the fact that these refugees are fleeing precisely the type of violence we are seeing this week in Syria", says Jennifer Sime, a senior vice president of the International Rescue Committee's United States programs.
Many Western allies expressed support for the intervention, calling it an appropriate and measured response.
But there was widespread praise from other nations, including Saudi Arabia and Turkey, which support the Syrian opposition.
The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said the world is waiting for the Russian government "to act responsibly in Syria" and "to reconsider its misplaced alliance with Bashar Assad".
This could include tightening sanctions against Assad "preventing any further chemical attacks and the crushing by this regime of its own people" Hollande said during a visit to southern France. "We must recall that when you take your own path, this leads to disgusting tragedies for people in the region", he said, recalling the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the USA intervention in Libya in 2011 as part of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation coalition.
After his first use of our nation's military might, what happens next will be Trump's true test of leadership on the world stage.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Trump must officially seek congressional approval if he "intends to escalate the USA military's involvement in Syria". "Washington's move impairs the Russian-U.S. relations, which are in a deplorable state, substantially", Peskov added, according to TASS.
"Assad has reminded the USA and the world that his military campaign - and that of his external backers - is a crime against humanity", Jennifer Cafarella, an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, a think-tank, toldMiddle East Eye (MEE).
"At a minimum, the Russians failed to rein in the Syrian regime activity", they said.
The kingdom is among the most vehement opponents of Assad and supports Sunni rebel groups fighting to oust him.
Russian Federation echoed Syrian government's stand on "US' act of aggression" while discussing the air strike in UN Security Council's emergency meeting.
The Syrian military, for its part, condemned the US strikes as an act of aggression.
Spicer said the USA notified its partner countries in the region prior to launching the strikes.
"The imam of the mosque said the USA strikes were a joke", he said.
Rouhani said "neutral countries should come and assess to make it clear where the chemical weapons came from".
A spokesman for Vladimir Putin said the strike "deals a significant blow to the Russia-U.S. relations, which are already in a deplorable shape", and poses a "serious obstacle" for creating an global coalition against terrorism.
Trump is no global humanitarian or friend to the Syrians, who have been suffering for years from conventional and chemical weapon attacks alike.
A Syrian man collects and bags the body of a dead bird, reportedly killed by a suspected toxic gas attack in Khan Sheikhun, in Syria's northwestern Idlib province, April 5, 2017.