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World

ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Les Etats-Unis ont attaqué une base aérienne syrienne

by Humanite.fr

The US attacks a Syrian air base

On the night of Thursday 6th April until the morning of Friday 7th April, the American army fired several dozen cruise missiles at the Syrian Government’s air base.

Translated Tuesday 11 April 2017, by Emma Jackson

Resuming Bush’s warlike practices, Donald Trump has launched strikes against Syria on Thursday, following a chemical weapons attack, which he attributed to “Dictator Bachar al-Assad”, and which killed more than 100 civilians in the town of Khan Shaykhun, held by rebels.

Resuming Bush’s warlike practices, on Thursday Donald Trump launched strikes against Syria, following a chemical weapons attack which he attributed to “Dictator Bashar al-Assad”, and which killed more than 100 civilians in the rebel-held town of Khan Shaykhun.

During this first military operation of the US against the Syrian regime, 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched, targeting Al-Chaayrate’s air base in the Homs province at the centre of the country in the middle of the night. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least four Syrian soldiers were killed.

"The airport was almost totally destroyed: the airplanes, the tarmac, the fuel depot and the air defence building were pulverised,” said Rami Abdel Rahmane, the president of AFP. “There are burns’ patient casualties” and “fires that we are still trying to extinguish” said Talal Barazi, the Homs governor.

Trump plays the “avenger”

In order to justify this action, Trump claims that America is “the byword for justice”, calling on the “civilised nations” to put an end to the Syrian blood bath - ravaged by a war that has seen, since March 2011, 320,000 fatalities, has produced millions of refugees and created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two.

Arriving in Florida on Thursday to receive Xi Jinping, his Chinese counterpart, to whom he had personally given the news, Mr Trump had already denounced “a shame for humanity”. He had accused Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian dictator of “[having] launched a terrible attack with chemical weapons against innocent civilians, by using a deadly nerve agent”. Syrian television described the strikes as “attacks”.

Moscow denounces an “attack against a ‘sovereign state’”

The American strikes in Syria are causing “considerable prejudice” in relations between Moscow and Washington, declared the Kremlin on Friday. The Kremlin claimed that the strikes constitute “an attack against a sovereign state”. "This action by Washington causes considerable prejudice in Russo-American relations, which are already in a lamentable state", declared Dmitri Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson, cited by the Russian press agencies. The Pentagon pointed out that Washington had warned Moscow in advance. Before the strikes, the Vladimir Safronkov, the Russian ambassador to the UN, had warned of the “negative consequences” in case of a military intervention.

Turnarounds

Rex Tillerson, the top US diplomat, has accused Russia, Syria’s ally, of having neglected its responsibilities. He also argued for the departure of President Assad, while, a week ago, he had seemed to accommodate his hold on power. The Americans haven’t clarified if the new strikes were planned, but have indicated that their response was “proportional”.

In the summer 2013, Barack Obama had abandoned striking out against the Syrian regime after a chemical weapon attack near Damas claimed more than 1400 lives. At the time, the real estate mogul Donald Trump had exhorted Mr Obama on Twitter to not intervene in Syria.


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