President Trump says airstrikes on Syria underway

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Discussions with France and Britain were focused not on whether to strike, but how to do so in a way that went beyond "punishing" the Assad regime for the attack and instead would degrade its ability to use chemical weapons in the future, according to two Western diplomats with knowledge of the discussions.

Several huge explosions were heard in Syria's capital early Saturday, AFP's correspondent there said, as US President Donald Trump announced strikes on the country were under way. "And we pray that God will continue to watch over and bless the United States of America". He described the main aim as establishing "a strong deterrent" against chemical weapons use.

"The evil and the despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children, thrashing in pain and gasping for air". These are not the actions of a man.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Joseph Dunford, said the USA "specifically identified" targets to "mitigate the risk of Russian forces being involved" and that the normal deconfliction line was used in the run up to the strike to ensure clearance of airspace.

"Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria".

This past year, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who uttered bud use, devoting a memo issued by Trump's Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, who dared straight back enforcement of the national ban in states that legalized the medication.

Macron said the attack was "limited to the Syrian regime's facilities enabling the production and employment of chemical weapons".

"We were very precise and proportionate, but at the same time, it was a heavy strike", he said. "The risk of escalation with any military action in a country in which Russia, Iran and Turkey have deployed troops and proxies is far too great to leave to any executive acting on their own".

Sarin is a deadly nerve agent that has been used by al-Assad - the head of Syria's government - in the past, combined with chlorine, a combination that can effectively, unfortunately, render virtually all those people nearby dead on contact with the mixture.

Trump did not appear in public all day Friday - somewhat unusual for a president who enjoys frequent photo opportunities.

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"We can not tolerate the normalisation of the use of chemical weapons", Macron said in a statement.

As U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May put it, "The fact of this attack should surprise no-one".

After a presidential campaign in which he repeatedly criticized Hillary Clinton for telegraphing her military plans to the enemy, Trump was hardly subtle in the run-up to the latest strike against Syria. "It's an attack on what we all stand for", he thundered. President Bashar Assad's government denies responsibility.

During the speech, Trump had a firm warning for Iran and Russian Federation regarding supporting a regime in Syria that uses chemical weapons against its own people.

Washington, Paris and London have nevertheless insisted that their own secret intelligence points to Assad's guilt, and on Friday, a U.S. spokeswoman said they had "proof".

Others, however, voiced concern about the decision to launch strikes against Syria.

"Trump is also offering prayers for the Middle East and for the United States". "When our President draws a red line, our President enforces a red line".

French President Emmanuel Macron said France contributed to the US -led Syrian attacks because the "red line declared by France in May 2017 has been crossed". Advising Trump on Syria was John Bolton, the newly installed national security adviser with a militaristic and hawkish reputation, and Defense Secretary James Mattis, who sought to ensure that military action was linked to a broader strategy.

These hardliners, along with influential USA allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, want Washington to counter Iran's growing power in Syria - even if it means risking a perilous stand-off with Russian Federation.