US, allied strikes aimed at Syria's chemical weapons — Trump

"More than 70 people sheltering in basements have reportedly died, with 43 of those deaths related to symptoms consistent with exposure to highly toxic chemicals", it said in statement. The Pentagon said it gave no explicit warning.

"I'm not ready to speculate that that would happen", Mattis said.

The US is finalising plans for a military response against the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, which is being propped up by Russia and Iran.

The United Nations Security Council met on Tuesday for an urgent discussion on Syria. "And the special forces of a state with is leading a Russophobic campaign played a role in the staging", he added. Kelly Jean Kelly was the editor.

"Good souls will not be humiliated", Assad tweeted, while hundreds of Syrians gathered in Damascus, the capital, where they flashed victory signs and waved flags in scenes of defiance after the early morning barrage.

Experts say it's possible for the US to hit Syrian targets while dodging Russian troops and avoiding a major escalation.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived at the White House hours after a Russian official said U.S. missiles headed toward Syria would be shot down and Trump responded with a tweeted taunt.

As of Saturday, neither Syria nor its Russian or Iranian allies retaliated, Pentagon officials said.

Earlier in the week, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said there was no threat of the situation in Syria spiraling into U.S. -Russian hostilities. That did not mean military strikes would continue. The OPCW is based in The Hague. "Yes, it has happened", she said.

Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, said the allied airstrikes "took out the heart" of Assad's chemical weapons arsenal. "We stand for serious approaches", he said.

When pressed, he acknowledged that some unspecified portion of Assad's chemical arms infrastructure was not targeted.

Meanwhile Russia's defence ministry said on Friday Britain was involved in the suspected chemical attack in Douma, Reuters reported. He said the strikes were unlikely to curb the government's ability to produce or launch new attacks.

He told reporters all options were on the table regarding Syria. He is thought to be exploring a much larger strike this time, as the strike in April 2017 didn't meaningfully hamper Syria's air operations. He said the U.S. knew of no civilians killed by allied missiles.

US Navy sailors load a Tomahawk cruise missile into a submarine. U.S., British and French attack aircraft, including two U.S. Air Force B-1B strategic bombers, launched stealthy, long-range missiles from outside Syrian airspace, officials said. However, there was no official announcement from Syria on the matter and there was also no indication of Syrian government forces entering the city Thursday.

The Russian Defense Military labelled the WHO statement "unfounded", and called reports of an attack a "fabrication and provocation". "No other group" could have carried out that attack, May said, adding that the allies' use of force was "right and legal".

  • Leon Brazil