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Russia threatens after Britain joins US in bombing Syria

Russia has warned there “will be consequences” following airstrikes on Syria launched by the joint military forces of the US, Britain and France in response to a to a chemical attack on civilians.

Vladimir Putin’s ambassador to the United States said the bombings were an insult to the president and not “acceptable” as the three nations joined forces in response to the “evil and despicable crimes of a monster”.Britain, US and France launched more than 100 airstrikes in a “one-time shot” against Syria early this morning.

General Joseph Dunford confirmed three targets had been struck at a Pentagon briefing shortly after Trump’s announcement.

These include a scientific research facility in Damascus, which is allegedly linked to the production of chemical and biological weapons, a chemical weapons storage close to Homs and a chemical weapons equipment storage sight and command post, also near Homs.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson described the airstrikes as “highly successful” and said no personnel had been injured.

Theresa May said there was ‘no practicable alternative to the use of force’ after Donald Trump announced the retaliation to reports of chemical attacks which killed 75 men, women and children.

Russian ambassador Anatoly Antonov said on Twitter: “A pre-designed scenario is being implementedAgain, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences.

“Insulting the President of Russia is unacceptable and inadmissable. The US – the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons – has no moral right to blame other countries.”

But US President Donald Trump has sent a stern message to both Iran and Russia amid fears the rising tensions could lead to World War Three.

Trump said: “What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children.

“No nation can succeed by promoting rogue states and dictators.”

US Defense Secretary James Mattis says the U.S. has no reports of suffering any losses during the initial airstrikes on Syria.

He said: “Right now this is a one-time shot” but is not ruling out further attacks.”

He added: “Russia must decide whether to continue on this dark path or come back to civilisation.”

Four Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s launched Storm Shadow missiles at a military facility – a former missile base – 15 miles west of Homs, where it is believed chemical weapons were stored.

Russia’s foreign ministry said the strikes came as the country had “a chance of a peaceful future.”

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook: “Those behind all this claim moral leadership in the world and declare they are exceptional.

“You need to be really exceptional to shell Syria’s capital at the moment when it had gained a chance of a peaceful future.”

Huge blasts were reported around Damascus early on Saturday, moments after the US, France, and Britain announced they were striking Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities.

The joint operation came a week after a suspected chemical attack outside Damascus left 75 people dead.

Zakharova suggested that Western media should shoulder some responsibility for the strikes, claiming the White House cited “multiple media sources” on the suspected chemical weapons attack in Douma.

“American and other Western media must understand their responsibility for what happened,” Zakharova wrote.

The official Twitter account of the Syrian presidency today posted footage of Assad arriving for work “as normal”.

It said: “Morning of steadfastness.”

The Russian defence ministry and the Kremlin have yet to make any comment on the strikes announced by US President Donald Trump.

But Trump has reportedly been compared to Hitler by Alexander Sherin, deputy head of the State Duma’s defense committee.

He reportedly said the President “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 Nazi forces’ opening attack against the USSR in 1941 was launched around 4am.”

Late last night, Donald Trump confirmed he had launched US airstrikes on Syria, and that UK and France’s bombers had joined the mission.

He also sent a stern message to Iran and Russia, with some fearing rising tensions could lead to World War 3.

Trump said: “What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children.

“No nation can succeed by promoting rogue states and dictators.

“Russia must decide whether to continue on this dark path or come back to civilisation.”

Theresa May confirmed she had authorised British forces to conduct “co-ordinated and targeted strikes” saying there was “no alternative”.

Four Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s launched Storm Shadow missiles at a military facility – a former missile base – fifteen miles west of Homs, where it is believed chemical weapons were stored.

The Ministry of Defence said it believed the attack was a “success”.

US Defense Secretary James Mattis would not rule out further action.

Speaking from the Pentagon he told the media: “What you’ve seen tonight is not the end of the US response.

“They have built a lot of flexibility into the plan to allow for further strikes based on what they’ve hit tonight.”

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