'Smarter, longer range' USA missiles used to decimate Syrian airstrike targets

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The US and France say they have evidence that poison gas was used in the April 7 attack in Douma, killing at least 40 people, and that Syrian President Bashar Assad's military was behind it.

Before dawn on Saturday, a coalition of US, United Kingdom and French forces launched more than 100 missiles targeting three chemical facilities in Syria in retaliation for an apparent chemical attack that killed dozens of civilians on April 7.

For its part, France has said it has evidence Russian Federation was responsible.

The former missile base was assessed to have been used by the Syrian regime to "keep chemical weapon precursors stockpiled in breach of Syria's obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention", the MoD said in a statement.

That resolution was voted down, earning "yes" votes only from Russia, China and Bolivia.

The UK's National Cyber Security Center said Monday that the threat of a cyber-attack against Britain is now "at its highest possible level".

But the US military strike on Syria could also increase concerns in North Korea that giving up its nuclear arms would leave the country defenseless in a similar attack.

The suspected chemical attack is the latest issue to heighten tensions between Russian Federation and Western powers. "And we were able to repel it with Soviet missiles from the 70s", Russian lawmaker Dmitry Sablin quoted Assad as saying after a meeting with Russian lawmakers over the weekend.

Nasr al-Hariri, a senior opposition leader, said the global community must take responsibility for any retaliation by the Syrian government against civilians in opposition areas.

"The team has not yet deployed to Douma", two days after arriving in Syria, Mr Uzumcu told an executive council of the OPCW in The Hague. He called for a strategy that leads to a political solution to "save it from the brutality of the Syrian regime".

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USA envoy to the OPCW, Kenneth Ward, said: "It is our understanding the Russians may have visited the attack site".

"Without UN authority it was again a matter of the United States and British governments arrogating to themselves an authority to act unilaterally which they do not possess".

Chlorine, in contrast, has been used more widely in Syria's conflict without past US reprisals, and the chemical itself is far easier to find and weaponize, experts say. On Monday, he told the BBC's Hardtalk show that he guaranteed there had been no Russian tampering.

"It's a pin prick in the end because Bashar has been using these chemical weapons for years".

The ambassador to the U.N. said Russian Federation has blocked six attempts by the U.N. Security Council to make it easier to investigate the use of chemical weapons.

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani by phone on Sunday, telling him that any new Western strikes on Syria would spark "international chaos".

The UK opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party, also questioned the strikes, saying Saturday that he believed the "action was legally questionable", and called on May to publish the UK attorney general's advice that approved the bombings.

The proposed United Nations resolution includes a request for an independent investigation into the toxic gas attacks that killed more than 40 civilians earlier this month, and safe passage for aid convoys and medical evacuations.

Yet even The New York Times was moved to express concern that "the new strikes posed the risk of drawing the United States more deeply into a conflict in which Russian Federation and Iran have more invested than ever in keeping Mr. Assad in power". Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin "will be announcing those on Monday, if he hasn't already".

"They are telling him you can do whatever you want, the way you want to kill, kill but not chemicals".