Protesters Gather to Show Disappointment in Trump's Airstrikes on Syria

Nellie Chapman
April 16, 2018

Dozens chanted and held signs to demonstrate their disappointment in President Trump's decision to use military force in Syria without first letting worldwide organizations confirm the chemical attacks. It famously was on a backdrop banner when President George W. Bush stood on the deck of an aircraft carrier in May 2003 and prematurely declared victory in Iraq.

"I spoke to the president this morning and he said, "If the Syrian regime uses this poisonous gas again, the United States is locked and loaded", she said.

"The Syrian raid was so perfectly carried out, with such precision, that the only way the Fake News Media could demean was by my use of the term 'Mission Accomplished'. Use often!" he tweeted on Sunday.

The United States and European allies launched airstrikes on Saturday against Syrian research, storage and military targets under the pretext of a suspected chemical attack near Damascus last weekend that killed more than 40 people.

A group of Russian politicians has met with Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose mood they describe as good a day after Western airstrikes.

United States officials said they hope the strike will serve to deter Syria's government from using chemical weapons in the future.

Saeed Saeed, head of the Institution for the Development of Pharmaceutical and Chemical Industries, said the center was previously used by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) but now works on pharmaceutical products.

US, British and French forces hit Syria with over 100 missiles in retaliation for a chemical attack blamed on Assad's regime.

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The bombings, hailed by US President Donald Trump as a success but denounced by Damascus and its allies as an act of aggression, marked the biggest intervention by Western countries against Assad and ally Russian Federation, whose foreign minister Sergei Lavrov called them "unacceptable and lawless". She said that Washington's main goal is "to see American troops come home", but it is not going to leave "until we know we have accomplished those things". But he appeared to contradict that message when he said on Saturday that Western allies were prepared to "sustain" the military response if Assad does not stop using prohibited chemical weapons. The U.S. war there dragged on for eight more years.

Another official said, "We have incontrovertible evidence from the photos" that chemical weapons were used and it was "clear to the global community".

That inquiry ended in November after Russian Federation, which backs Assad, blocked three attempts by the U.N. Security Council to renew its mandate.

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, countered that Russia's track record of vetoing Security Council resolutions created to rein in the Assad government had given the Syrian leader "a green light" for the use of "barbaric weapons".

But analysts question the reasons for these latest raids - which signalled that Western leaders would not let a chemical weapons attack go without punishment - but demurred about deeper involvement when barrel bombs are used.

Syrian ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari said the US, UK and France had undermined global peace and security, and asked the Secretariat to distribute copies of the UN Charter to the three nations in order to "enlighten themselves, and awaken themselves from their ignorance and tyranny".

"As Secretary Mattis said last night, the Russian disinformation campaign has already begun", Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a press conference.

Syrians deserve better than a choice between the evils of Assad and the poison of terrorism, she said.

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