America, Britain and France strike Syria

Syria air defences strike back after air strikes by U.S. British and French forces in Damascus

Syria air defences strike back after air strikes by U.S. British and French forces in Damascus

The military campaign was in response to a devastating chemical attack in the rebel-controlled Damascus suburb of Douma, which killed dozens of people earlier this month.

Russia continues to back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, providing military equipment - including air-defense systems - and has sent Russian troops and paid Russian mercenaries to Syria.

The joint operation targeted military installations around Damascus and near the central city of Homs.

AFP's correspondent in Damascus said several consecutive blasts were heard at 04:00local time (01:00 GMT), followed by the sound of airplanes overhead. Al-Alam Arabic TV displayed scenes of public gathering in support of the government in the streets of Warzah in Damascus near an attack site.

In a statement Friday night, UK Prime Minister Theresa May called last weekend's chemical attack "pure horror".

Trump said that he chose to take action because last weekend's action by Bashar Al-Assad "was a significant attack against his own people", and "not the actions of a man, they are crimes of a monster instead".

Russia's Foreign Ministry condemned the attack calling it a flagrant violation of global law.

The Pentagon said one of the targets was a scientific research center located in the greater Damascus area, which it described as a Syrian center for the research, development, production and testing of chemical and biological weaponry.

Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also accused the US and its allies of attacking Syria at a time when there was a chance for peace.

She said nearly a century of global acceptance about not using chemical weapons had been eroded in Douma and Salisbury.

After the strikes were launched, the Russian Embassy in Washington issued a warning to the U.S.

Syrian air defenses shot down 13 missiles fired in the US -led attack on the country on Saturday, Syrian state TV said.

Syrian state media accused Western powers of trying to hinder the investigation with their attack.

"Today's action by the US, the United Kingdom, and France is a proper response to the repeated use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime".

On that occasion the USA attack was confined to the airbase where planes carrying the sarin and chlorine gas had taken off.

Russian Federation reacted to the air strikes saying that once again they were being threatened and such actions by the USA will not be excused.

"We pray that God will bring comfort to those suffering in Syria".

"Again, we are being threatened", he said in a statement.

Mr Trump chastised Syria's two main allies, Russia and Iran, for their roles in supporting "murderous dictators", and noted that Russian president Vladimir Putin had guaranteed a 2013 worldwide agreement for Mr Assad to get rid of all of his chemical weapons.

Putin said the USA actions in Syria made the humanitarian catastrophe worse and caused pain for civilians.

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