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He says the Russian air defense assets in Syria monitored the strike but didn't engage any of the missiles.

"We specifically identified these targets to mitigate the risk of Russian forces being involved", Dunford told reporters, adding the USA military advised Russia of airspace that would be used in the strike but did not "pre-notify them".

Officials said coalition forces made sure Moscow was aware of an upcoming operation but didn't give Russians specific details.

President Trump has suggested, however, that more action by America, Britain and France could be on the way.

"Even if he (Trump) fires what he calls smart bombs, at us they will be stupid bombs because they will backfire on him and Syrians will be stronger", al-Issa said.

- Strikes were launched at 2am BST at three sites connected with the Syrian regime's chemical weapons programme.

Jaish al-Islam has said it only agreed to the deal because of the Syrian government's purported use of toxic chemicals on Douma, which medics said killed more than 40 people.

"I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain's national interest".

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"We confined it to the chemical weapons-type targets", Mattis said.

The strikes would result in a "long term degradation of Syria's ability" to create, use and deploy chemical weapons, U.S. Gen. Joseph Dunford said in a press conference Friday night, adding that the operation was meant to inflict "maximum damage" with minimal risk to civilians. Whatever its scale, the move plunged the U.S. further into the multi-sided Syrian civil war, even as Trump presses his aides to orchestrate a swift withdrawal of American troops from the country.

The operation was "precise, overwhelming and effective", he said, adding it will set their chemical weapons program back "for years".

Defense officials said Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched from three US warships, while B-1 bombers dropped long-range missiles on targets.

"The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war", he told reporters.

United States joint Chief of Staff Marine General Joseph Dunford said the strike was created to degrade Syria's chemical weapons capability without killing civilians or the many foreign fighters in Syria's multi-sided civil war, particularly those from Russian Federation. Syria's President Bashar Assad announced that his country would respond, while Russia's ambassador to Washington warned of unspecified "consequences".

On Monday, Russia warned that any military intervention from the US against Russian allies in Syria would result in the "most serious consequences" and called news of last weekend's chemical attacks "fabricated". "The capital of a sovereign government, trying for years to survive under terrorist aggression, has been attacked", Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook. They also raised the possibility of confrontation with Russian Federation and Iran, both of which have military forces in Syria to support Assad.


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