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The last thing: Macron: strike retaliation, not an act of war

BEIRUT – The latest in the Syrian conflict (all locals):

10:45

French President Emmanuel Macron says the joint military attacks by the US The US, France and Britain against Syrian targets were carried out in retaliation after the allies obtained evidence that the Bashar Assad government had used chemical weapons against its own people.

"It was a reprisal, not an act of war," Macron said in a live interview on the French television channel BMF and on the online research site Mediapart.

Macron said the allies had "full international legitimacy to intervene" in Syria because the attacks were on the application of international humanitarian law.

The French leader said that the allies were forced to act without an explicit mandate from the UN due to the "constant stagnation of the Russians" in the Security Council.

Macron said: "We had reached a point at which these attacks became indispensable."

"The Bashar Assad regime has an enemy that is its people," Macron said.

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10:25 pm

French President Emmanuel Macron says air strikes launched in Syria by the US UU., France and the United Kingdom were successful.

Macron said that "the operation that we decided (performed perfectly)" on the French television BFM and the online site Mediapart.

He said that all missiles S ruck their targets.

The Syrian regime and the Russians "claim they have no victims on their side," he said.

"That's exactly what we wanted to do," he added.

The United States, France and the United Kingdom launched air strikes early Saturday at three chemical weapons facilities in Syria to punish the regime for the alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians in the country.

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10:15 pm

Germany's foreign minister hopes that the US-led airstrikes in Syria will result in a new effort to find a peaceful solution to the seven-year conflict.

Heiko Maas told the public broadcaster ARD that the military attack by Western nations against the forces of Bashar Assad "should make it clear to all parties that we not only have the opportunity but the need to resume the political process" .

Maas says he expects a "window for dialogue" has been opened with Moscow, an ally of Syria, now that the Russian elections have ended.

Germany did not join the United States, Britain and France in the strikes, although Chancellor Angela Merkel called the attack "necessary and appropriate".

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9:45 pm

Czech pro-Russian President Milos Zeman has condemned allied air strikes in Syria.

In a radio interview on Sunday, Zeman said a military action against any state can only take place after the approval of the UN Security Council. He said attacks against Islamic militants should be the only exception.

Zeman also said that the strikes were a mistake because they arrived at a time when the refugees were returning to the war-torn country.

The president also criticized the performance of the Czech prime minister Positive response from Minister Andrej Babis to the strikes. Babis said on Saturday they were "unavoidable" because President Bashar Assad's regime uses chemical weapons to attack civilians. After meeting with Zeman on Sunday, Babis backed off, saying the strikes do not solve anything.

In the Czech Republic, the government is in charge of foreign policy, not the president.

6:50 pm

Lebanese leader Hezbollah says that the Western attacks against Syria after the alleged use of chemical weapons probably complicate the prospects for a political solution and have not achieved any of their results.

Speaking by video at a rally of supporters on Sunday, Hassan Nasrallah says the strikes ordered by the United States have strained international relations and could "totally torpedo" the UN-sponsored peace talks in Geneva. He says the attacks were "limited" and were an acknowledgment of the strength of the "axis of resistance." The term refers to the alliance between Syria, Iran and Hezbollah.

The Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah, originally founded to combat the Israeli occupation of the Lebanese territories, has sent hundreds of fighters to support President Bashar Assad's troops in the war, now in its eighth year.

President Donald Trump and his British and French allies say that air strikes were necessary to discourage Syria's use of chemical weapons. Syria and Russia deny having used chemical weapons and insist that the Western powers had no evidence.

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6:20 p.m.

United States. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley says the United States will impose more economic sanctions on Russia for its support for Syrian President Bashar Assad and his apparent use of chemical weapons.

Haley says Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will make the announcement on Monday and it will affect companies that are "dealing with equipment related to Assad and any use of chemical weapons."

She tells CBS "Face the Nation" that Russia needs to feel the consequences of protecting the Assad regime. Haley notes that Russia has vetoed six resolutions in the United Nations Security Council with respect to chemical weapons.

Haley says the fact that Assad was making the use of chemical weapons "more normal and that Russia was covering this, all it has to do"

Syrian opposition activists and first responders claim that A chemical attack in the city of Douma, near the Syrian capital, killed more than 40 people on April 7.

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6:15 pm

Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani held a telephone conversation to analyze the conditions in Syria following a joint US air missile attack. United States, United Kingdom and France in the country.

The leaders "agreed that this illegal action is adverse by impacting the prospects for a political agreement in Syria," a statement from the Kremlin said on Sunday.

Putin emphasized that if such actions in violation of the UN Charter continue, "inevitably it will imply chaos in the inter national relations," according to the statement.

The official IRNA news agency quoted Rouhani as saying: "The United States and some Western countries do not want Syria to achieve permanent stability."

Rouhani said that both Iran and Russia should not allow "Fire of a new tension" to erupt in the region, adding that Saturday's air strikes on Syria were an "invasion" and aimed at "emboldening the defeated terrorists" , according to the report.

Iran and Russia are key allies of Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose forces have been accused of carrying out a chemical weapons attack near Damascus a week ago, provoked the missile attack by Western powers.

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5:50 pm

Serbia, Russia's key ally in Europe, says it will not take sides in the Syrian crisis following the US-led attacks on Syrian chemical weapons sites.

President Aleksandar Vucic said in a statement on Sunday that Serbia generally condemns the use of chemi "

The statement says that Vucic met with the United States ambassador to Serbia, Kyle Scott, about the situation in Syria

While formally seeking to become a member of the European Union, Serbia maintained strong political and military ties with its traditional ally Russia, anti-Western sentiments remain high as a result of the US-led bombing of Serbia by NATO. 1999 that stopped the war in Kosovo.

Vucic says that "Serbia jealously guards and protects its military neutrality." He adds that "our country wants to speak for all and have a friendly relationship with everyone (with everyone). "___

5:25 pm

US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, is making it clear that the United States will not withdraw troops from Syria immediately.

Haley spoke after President Donald Trump In a tweet, she defended the use of the term "Mission Accomplished" to describe US-led attacks in Syria, she says that US involvement in Syria "is not done."

Haley says that the three objectives of the United States to fulfill its mission is to make sure that chemical weapons are not used in a way that could harm the national interests of the United States, that the Islamic state is defeated, and that there is a good observation point to see what is making Iran.

She tells Fox News Sunday: "We're not going to leave until we know we've achieved those things."

Haley reiterates that if Syrian President Bashar Assad uses poison gas again, "States United is closed and loaded "

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3:45 pm

President Donald Trump defends his use of the phrase" mission accomplished "to refer to the US-led attacks in Syria.

Trump tweets on Sunday that the mission was "so perfectly done, so accurately, that the only way false media could degrade was through the use of the term & # 39; mission & # 39; Realized. & # 39; "

He adds:" I knew you would take advantage of this, but you felt that it is such a great military term that it should be returned … Use it often! "

Trump's use of the phrase on Saturday evoked comparisons with President George W. Bush, who in 2003 stood under a banner reading "Mission Accomplished" when he declared that the main combat operations had ended in Iraq six weeks after the invasion. But the war went on for years.

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3:15 pm

Iran has condemned the Western attacks on Syria, saying that no country has the right to take punitive measures against another "beyond international procedures". [19659002] The semi-official Fars news agency quoted Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying that Iran had warned of the possibility that the "terrorist groups" were behind the alleged chemical attack that triggered the attacks. He said he communicated his concerns in a phone call on Sunday with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

Iran is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose forces have been accused of carrying out a chemical weapons attack near Damascus a week ago. Opposition activists and rescuers say they killed more than 40 people. The attack led the United States, Britain and France to carry out a missile attack on Syrian military targets on Saturday morning.

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3:10 pm

Syrian President Bashar Assad says that the western air strikes against his country were accompanied by a campaign of "lies" and misinformation in the UN Security Council.

Assad spoke on Sunday to a group of Russian politicians who were visiting. His comments were transmitted by state media.

Assad and Russia deny the use of chemical weapons, the trigger for the attacks of early Saturday. An alleged gas attack last weekend in the city of Douma killed more than 40 people, according to opposition activists and rescue workers.

Assad told his visitors that the United States, Britain and France, which carried out the strikes, had launched a "Lies and Misinformation" campaign against Russia and Syria.

The UN Security Council has been paralyzed in dealing with the seven-year Syrian conflict and the use of chemical weapons. Russia, a permanent member with veto power, is a close ally of Assad.

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2:45 pm

Some 350 demonstrators of communist organizations in Cyprus have gathered outside the front door of a British base plane to denounce US-led air strikes against suspected chemical weapons sites In Syria.

The protest leader Akis Poullos says they are calling for the closure of the RAF Akrotiri, from where four British Tornado warplanes took off to participate in the missile attack. [19659002] Poullos said the Sunday rally was also a message to the government of Cyprus not to lend any help to the "imperialist attacks" against Syria and to demand an end to the war in the country.

Protesters used red paint to write "NATO assassins go home" on a nearby wall outside the base door.

Former colonial ruler Britain retained RAF Akrotiri and another military base in Cyprus after the eastern Mediterranean island gained its independence in 1960.

The government of Cyprus The government said it received no warning about the attacks Saturday flights. He also said that British Prime Minister Theresa May assured Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades that there is no danger to Cyprus and that Cypriots can feel safe.

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2:30 pm

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says he hopes there will be no need for additional attacks against Syria, but that Britain and its allies will consider new measures if the Syrian president Bashar Assad uses chemical weapons in the future.

Johnson told the BBC on Sunday that the airstrikes were proportionate and showed "the world has said enough is enough."

He says "so far, thank God, the Assad regime has not been as foolish as to launch another attack with chemical weapons, "adding that Britain and its allies" would study what the options were "in the event of another attack.

Meanwhile, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn says the air strikes were "legally debatable" and that Britain must comply with international law if it wants high moral ground. It is demanding legislation to give Parliament more scrutiny on military action.

The United States, France and Britain launched missiles at Syrian military targets early Saturday in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack near Damascus a week ago.

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Syrian state television says another 5,000 security forces are being deployed in a city near the capital that was placed under government control a week after a suspected chemical attack.

Douma was the last rebel in the eastern suburbs of Ghouta, the target of a massive government offensive in February and March. The city was also the scene of an alleged poisonous gas attack on April 7 that led the United States, Britain and France to launch missiles on Syrian military targets early Saturday.

The Syrian government and its ally Russia have denied the accusations of a chemical attack. An international research mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is in Syria and is expected to visit Douma.

The state TV Al-Ikhbariya says that a second group of 5,000 security personnel deployed in Douma on Sunday. [19659002WhiletheSyriannewspaperreportswerethatthecountry'sdefensesystemshadbelongedtomissiles

The headline on the government newspaper Tishrin says: "Our heroic army topples the missiles of aggression."

The Pentagon says none of the missiles were shot down and Syria's anti-aircraft defenses were ineffective.

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1:35 pm

Pope Francis says he is "deeply disturbed" by the lack of response from the international community to a common response to the crisis in Syria and other parts of the world.

The pontiff said after his traditional Sunday blessing that "despite the tools available to the international community, it is difficult to agree on a common action". towards peace in Syria or other regions of the world. "

Francis asked" all people of good will "to join him in praying for peace and appealed to political leaders to help" prevail justice " .

after air strikes by the United States, France and Great Britain aimed at eliminating Syria's chemical weapons capability, following an alleged poison gas attack in a Damascus suburb that killed dozens of people, including children.

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1:15 pm

A group of Russian politicians met with Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose mood they described as good one day after the Western air strikes.

Assad, air strikes were launched in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack by Syrian forces in the city of Douma will unify the country, according to Dmitry Sablin, a member of the lower house of parliament. so, who was summoned by Russian news agencies.

Natalya Komarova, governor of the Russian region of Khanty-Mansiysk, also attended the meeting on Sunday. She says: "President Assad has an absolutely positive attitude, in a good mood."

Sablin was quoted as saying that Assad estimates that the reconstruction of the country after years of war would cost $ 400 billion.

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11 am [19659002] France urges Russia to join an effort for a political solution in Syria after joint attacks by the United States, France and Britain against Syrian chemical weapons sites.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in an interview published on Sunday in the Journal The newspaper du Dimanche said that "we should join our efforts to promote a political process in Syria that will allow a way out the crisis".

France has continued to speak regularly with Russia, even though East-West tensions have grown. French President Emmanuel Macron spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, hours before the Western missile attacks.

Western countries accused the Syrian government of a chemical attack in an area controlled by rebels earlier this month that killed more than 40 people. The Syrian government and its ally Russia denied the accusations.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material can not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.

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