France concluded after technical analysis of open sources and "reliable intelligence" that a chemical attack on Douma on April 7 was carried out by Syrian government forces, a declassified intelligence report showed on Saturday.
US President Donald Trump appeared to surrender any hope of a working relationship with Moscow when he tweeted that "President (Vladimir) Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad" in a "MINDLESS chemical attack in Syria".
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, who was widely reported to be wary of intervention and the dangers of escalation in Syria, said that the United States focused its efforts strictly on degrading the Syrian regime's chemical weapons complex.
The Pentagon said Saturday (Apr 14) that a joint US-British-French operation against Syria's regime had "successfully hit every target", countering assertions from Russian Federation that dozens of missiles were intercepted.
But she also said the strikes were not about "regime change".
A draft United Nations Security Council resolution by Russian Federation, seen by Reuters, hoped to condemn "the aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic by the U.S. and its allies in violation of worldwide law and the UN Charter".
Trump said the USA was prepared to sustain economic, diplomatic and military pressure on Assad until he ends what Trump called a criminal pattern of killing his own people with internationally banned chemical weapons.
French President Emmanuel Macron said the military operation with United States and Britain were targeting "clandestine chemical arsenal" in Syria. "This is going to set the Syrian chemical weapon program back for years".
Behind closed doors, Trump pushed for a more aggressive response than the one taken previous year, wanting options that would involve attacks on targets in Syria associated with Russian Federation and Iran, officials said.
While Trump was determined to respond to the chemical attack, he also said the United States "does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria, under no circumstances". "These are not the actions of a man; they are crimes of a monster instead".
"The goal of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread, and use of chemical weapons", Trump said. "We hit our sites", White said. "The American President, the French President and the British Prime Minister are criminals, they will gain nothing from it".
China's foreign ministry said it objected to the use of force and warned that it could complicate the situation in Syria.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) monitoring group said that "scientific research centres" and "several military bases" were hit in the strikes.
Ten expressly supported the airstrikes (three in the Times, five in the Post and two in the Journal), two did so by implication (both in the Times, both lamenting the United States "doing nothing" in Syria), two were ambiguous and two were opposed to the airstrikes. "Mind you, that still does nothing about the Syrian regime, which is still a mess, and Trump said this is not the end". Still, he said that does little to dissuade Assad from resorting to barrel bombs and continuing to "slaughter" civilians, so long as he "doesn't violate worldwide norms".