Pro-Assad official: Targeted bases were evacuated on Russian warning

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Pro-Assad official: Targeted bases were evacuated on Russian warning

Western powers are thought to be preparing for strikes but Russian Federation, a Syrian ally, opposes such action. The ministry also pointed at previous use of chemicals by the rebels in fighting with Syrian government troops.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the missile strikes an "act of aggression against a sovereign state" and said they were against the United Nations' charter.

"Russia severely condemns the attack on Syria where Russian military are helping the lawful government in the fight with terrorism", the Kremlin said in a statement, its first reaction to the strikes.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she supported the military action.

In the UK, Cabinet ministers said that it was "highly likely" the Assad regime was responsible for the attack.

Syria's Foreign Ministry condemned the airstrikes as a "flagrant violation of the worldwide law". Alexander Sherin, deputy head of the State Duma's defense committee, said Trump "can be called Adolf Hitler No. 2 of our time - because, you see, he even chose the time that Hitler attacked the Soviet Union", the AP reported.

"The morning of resilience", declared a caption accompanying the video circulated on the presidency's Telegram feed. Around 30 missiles were fired in the attack, and a third of them were shot down, the official said.

"And what's most important is no one contests that the use of chemical weapons can not be tolerated and must be deterred, " he said.

The strikes - the strongest concerted action yet by Western forces in Syria - were launched at 9 p.m. ET, as most of Europe and the Middle East was shrouded in darkness.

"The missiles that targeted a military position in Homs were thwarted and diverted from their path, and injured three civilians", state news agency SANA said.

A meeting of the North Atlantic Council will be held Saturday afternoon, a NATO official told CNN.

"In 2013, President [Vladimir] Putin and his government promised the world that they would guarantee the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons", Trump said. He said "the Cold War is back - with a vengeance but with a difference", because safeguards that managed the risk of escalation in the past, "no longer seem to be present". "This was not about interfering in a civil war".

While insisting that the military action was a direct effect of the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, May also alluded to the use of a nerve agent in the English city of Salisbury.

"The US - the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons - has no moral right to blame other countries", he added.

Meanwhile, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) says experts are travelling to Syria and will start investigations on Saturday.

Russian Federation said that the Western powers "cynically" carried out military action hours before a team from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was set to begin an investigation into the suspected chemical weapons attack in the town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta that sparked the intervention by the USA and its allies.

Turkey, an important player in the Syrian conflict, said it viewed the airstrikes as "an appropriate response" to the Douma attack. Moscow alleged soon after the suspected April 7 attack that the images of the victims in Douma were fakes.

The Elysee palace said in a statement that Macron had also expressed regret about Russia's use of its Security Council veto on the attack.

Russian Federation has countered that the US-led action was aimed at overthrowing Assad and keeping Moscow's influence in check.

He accused Washington of putting global peace at risk and said the situation was "very dangerous".

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