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U.S. 'locked and loaded' if Syria uses toxic gas again

U.S. 'locked and loaded' if Syria uses toxic gas again

"Saudi Arabia fully supports the strikes launched by the United States, France and Britain against Syria because they represent a response to the regime's crimes", a foreign ministry statement said.

The first target included the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Centre at al-Mazzah Airport in Damascus; the second, an alleged chemical weapons storage facility west of Homs; and the third, an alleged chemical weapons equipment storage site and command post, also near Homs. He added that "a lot has been destroyed in last night's strikes", and noted that France had "solid intelligence" that the Assad regime was behind the suspected gas attack in Douma.

French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement that a target of the strike was the Syrian government's "clandestine chemical arsenal".

United States officials said they acted to defend allies attacked by the Syrian government as both rival forces raced toward Raqqa city, at the time the de facto capital of the IS militants.

The UN Council is set to meet at the request of Russian Federation, who claim the US-led missile strike in Syria was an attempt to hamper chemical weapons investigations in Douma, labelling bombing an "act of aggression".

President Donald Trump "enforces" the red line and the U.S. will sustain the pressure on the war-torn nation, she said.

She accused Russian Federation of defending Syrian President Bashar Assad and failing to ensure that Syria's chemical weapons were destroyed as the Assad regime had pledged in 2013.

While the chemical weapons attack has put Syria fully on Trump's radar, experts say it's unlikely to persuade him to stay the course in Syria beyond defeating Islamic State.

"We will continue to work with our global partners to further investigate the use of chemical weapons in Syria".

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The US' keenness to strike stemmed from its charge that the Syrian government had attacked a rebel-held enclave within the country with chemical weapons, killing about 50 people, and the West says it draws the line at chemical weapons, whose use is banned in global law.

"When our President draws a red line, our President enforces the red", she said.

The United Kingdom's Royal Air Force said four Tornado GR4s fighters jets joined in the operation, while France said it has deployed Mirage and Rafale fighter jets.

On Sunday, the Syrian army command declared that it had taken full control of the Eastern Ghouta region outside Damascus, which had been under rebel control for six years.

The strikes are "a flagrant violation of the principles of worldwide law and the charter (of the UN Security Council) and an outrage against a sovereign state which will only worsen the conflict in (Syria) and the region", it added.

In late March, Trump made a surprise announcement, saying the USA would withdraw from Syria in the near future.

"Russia's veto was used as a green light for Assad to use chemical weapons".

United States military officials said the air strikes took out "the heart" of Syria's chemical weapons facilities, but it remained to be seen how Syria would respond. Assad is as powerful as before, if not more powerful.