Satellite pictures show damage done by Western airstrikes on Assad chemical sites

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The Syrian government has to declare the entire stockpile of chemical weapons in order to resume the political dialogue in Geneva, US State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

It was unclear whether Trump thought sarin had been used when he said on Twitter on Wednesday that United States missiles "will be coming" and accused Assad of being a "Gas Killing Animal". That makes degrading it through military strikes far more hard.

Mr Trump and his allies ordered the mission in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack a week ago on the rebel-held town of Douma that left more than 40 people dead. We thank them both.

Haley says the fact that Assad was making the use of chemical weapons "more normal and that Russian Federation was covering this up, all that has got to stop".

"We will not stand by passively while Assad, backed by Russian Federation and Iran, ignores worldwide law", White said.

In his televised address from the White House on Friday, Trump said the USA was prepared to keep up the economic, diplomatic and military pressure on Assad until he ends a pattern of killing his own people with internationally banned chemical weapons.

"Even this week the Russians vetoed a Resolution at the UN Security Council which would have established an independent investigation into the Douma attack".

Addressing the council, Guterres said: "At this critical juncture, I call on all member states to act consistently with the charter of the United Nations and with global law, including the norms against chemical weapons". "When our president draws a red line, our president enforces the red line", said US Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Mr Trump has also defended his use of the phrase "Mission Accomplished" to describe the US-led missile attack on Syria's chemical weapons program.

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One senior U.S. official familiar with the decision to act on Friday said the U.S., British and French intelligence services were unanimous in their assessments of the attack and were "eager" to move when they did because of concerns about contamination of the site.

"But", Eid added. "that happiness and joy soon vanished as soon as Gen. [James] Mattis started talking about this being a one-strike and how they only care about sending a message to Asaad to stop using chemical weapons".

"We specifically identified these targets to mitigate the risk of Russian forces being involved", Dunford told reporters.

President Trump at the White House addresses the nation on launching missile strikes on Syria.

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The statement also stressed that the "flames of such crime will engulf the perpetrators and supporters" of the attack on Syria. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "will still continue to bomb his people, to gas his people".

"The main problem is that the focus is not ending the war but using it in various ways to exert influence in Syria, Iraq and beyond".

Russia, Syria's military backer, disagreed with that report, saying that Syrian air defense systems intercepted 71 out of 103 cruise missiles.

The statement said "a significant number" of missiles were shot down by Syrian air defences.

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