Russian drone may have turned camera off, right before Syrian attack

Claudine Rigal
Avril 9, 2017

Despite the breakdown over Syria, where Russian Federation has a significant military presence, USA officials insisted Tillerson's highly anticipated trip was still on.

"The U.S. has often talked about the need to combat worldwide terrorism", Safronkov added, yet it attacked the Syrian air force, which he claimed is leading that fight in Syria.

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre asked Trudeau to explain the pivot, but the prime minister would only reiterate his support of the US action. President Barack Obama authorised covert training and weapons to some opposition fighters but never directly targeted the government of Bashar al Assad.

"The world is waiting for the Russian government to act responsibly in Syria", Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said during an emergency Security Council session.

But efforts for stronger action at the United Nations have been repeatedly blocked by Assad's main ally Russian Federation - even after a chemical attack in a Damascus suburb killed hundreds in 2013.

Haley said the USA was prepared to take further action in Syria but hoped it wouldn't be necessary. But Trump's national security adviser, speaking with reporters at Trump's resort in Palm Beach, Florida, said Assad should take note of what happened.

"We were fully justified in doing so", she said.

Russia's deputy ambassador to the UN, Vladimir Safronkov, told Friday's session in NY the USA military's "illegitimate" missile strikes had encouraged "terrorists" in Syria.

Syrian state media is reporting that in addition to the military deaths, nine civlians, including four children, were killed in USA airstrike.

He applauded President Donald Trump's decision to take action.

Trump's own campaign themes hinted at an inward-looking if not isolationist America.

USA politicians have praised Trump for the attack, saying he must be "prepared to take other action" in Syria.

Hours after the airstrikes, Russian Federation announced it was severing a hotline the two countries have used since 2015 to ensure their aircraft don't accidentally clash in Syria's crowded skies. The drone returned later when victims of the attack were transported to the hospital for treatment. Shortly afterward, the hospital was bombed.

The officials, who insisted on anonymity in order to discuss the sensitive matter, said they believe the hospital attack may have been an effort to cover up evidence of the earlier assault.

The United States has conducted air strikes against Islamic State militants who control territory in eastern and northern Syria, and a small number of us troops are on the ground assisting anti-Islamic State militias.

Murphy called the Syrian crisis an "incredibly complicated affair".

One possibility is that the Syrians are simply not deterred and step up their attacks, using conventional or chemical weapons.

The impact of the strikes was also unclear. Despite intense global pressure, Assad has clung to power since a civil war broke out in his country six years ago, helped by financial and military support from both Russian Federation and Iran.

The United States warned Friday it is ready to hit Syria again after a missile strike that infuriated Moscow and fueled calls for a push to end the six-year war.

Trudeau said that prior to the strikes taking place, U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis called Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, who then briefed the prime minister.

The gas attack also proved that Syria had not surrendered the last of its chemical weapons stockpiles to Russia for disarming, as it had pledged to do in 2013 as part of a Russian-brokered deal to avoid US military action after a devastating nerve gas attack on a Damascus suburb.

European and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies offered their support following the United States strike, as did Saudi Arabia and Turkey, who also support the Syrian opposition.

Britain led global support for the attack, describing it as a "limited and appropriate" response to the use of chemical weapons by the regime of Mr Assad against its own people. France, Italy and Israel also welcomed the strikes. And Congress is about to leave Washington for its spring recess. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a leader of the party's non-interventionist wing who challenged Trump for the GOP nomination. "Even handsome babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack", the president said.

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