United States to hit Russian Federation with new sanctions for aiding Syria's Assad

Defiant crowds gathered in Damascus to wave Syrian flags and dance

Defiant crowds gathered in Damascus to wave Syrian flags and dance Hassan Ammar AP

Syrian activists said more than 40 people were killed but Syria and Russian Federation deny the attack and Russian Federation even accused Britain of staging the attack.

Chemical weapons experts are due to arrive in Douma tomorrow to probe an alleged poison gas attack, Russian officials said, as the United States voiced fears Moscow may already have "tampered with" evidence at the site. The Russian defense ministry stated that White Helmets were an unreliable source, notorious for disseminating falsehoods.

"For we can not allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised - either within Syria, on the streets of the United Kingdom or elsewhere".

According to reports from the Pentagon, the joint forces hit the Barzah Research and Development Center outside Damascus with 76 missiles, destroying the facility.

The tripartite military action from the United States, France and Britain was created to set back or destroy Syria's chemical weapons program, the three countries said, and deter any further use in violation of global conventions.

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Also Monday, British Prime Minister Theresa May was to face angry lawmakers for authorizing the strikes without a vote in Parliament.

The trio of Western powers that carried out the strikes warned they would repeat the operation if Damascus used chemical weapons again, while Putin warned any fresh strikes would "provoke chaos".

"The repeated and morally reprehensible use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime in the past has been confirmed by independent worldwide investigators".

"From the point of view of al-Assad, Iran and Russian Federation, the real action of this war is happening on the ground and on the ground al-Assad is winning", said Landis.

And the United States called for a clear condemnation by the OPCW of "the Syrian government for its reign of chemical terror". There is no reason to believe that the "overall erosion of the use of chemical weapons will change".

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Syrian state TV reported overnight that anti-aircraft defenses had shot down missiles fired at an air base in the Homs area, and a media unit run by the Lebanese group Hezbollah said missiles had also targeted an air base near Damascus.

Both Syria, which denies any chemical use, and Russian Federation, which provides military support to the Syrian government, have reacted angrily to the action.

The U.S. -led strikes did nothing to alter the strategic balance or dent Assad's supremacy and the Western allies have said the aim was to prevent the further use of chemical weapons, not to intervene in the civil war or topple Assad. While President Donald Trump praised his military for a successful operation tweeting "Mission Accomplished", the Pentagon was quick to retort, that "this operation does not represent a change in U.S. policy", and that it was not an attempt to dethrone Assad or be involved in the Syrian civil war.

In an unusual move, the government says it will seek an emergency House of Commons debate on the airstrikes so legislators can have their say.

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