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tv   NEWSHOUR  Al Jazeera  April 14, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm +03

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our jews here. and. where every. he ruled for nearly half a century a controversial political figure in the cold in the middle east and one who was never far from crisis at home or abroad. in a two part series al-jazeera world tells the story of king hussein of jordan. episode one so far on al-jazeera.
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this is al-jazeera. welcome to the sellers of their news out of man as a parameter in which we will have extensive coverage of the u.s. led strikes against syria's government. britain france and the united states of america have marshaled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality america and its allies help the syrian government with more than one hundred airstrikes in response to a suspected poison gas attack. key allies russia and iran have been quick to condemn the strikes moscow says they will be consequences. on here while supporters of syria's president have rallied in damascus their government
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describes the attacks as aggression. suppression and france said their decision to unleash airstrikes on syrian government targets was necessary to stop the regime from using chemical weapons u.s. president donald trump is praising or the involved tweeting mission accomplished well syrian president bashar assad has described the attacks as a brutal western aggression and his allies are standing firmly by his side the coordinates of actions or more than one hundred missiles fired from. jets at what the western allies described as chemical weapons sites russia has called for another emergency meeting of the un security council to discuss what it says is an unjustified attack on a sovereign state surveyed opposition meanwhile the strikes will not change the course of the seven year war which has been going as sounds way since russia began
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to assist the government in two thousand and fifteen well let's take a look now at where the missiles dropped the target near damascus according to the pentagon was a center that had been researching and producing chemical and biological weapons the other two targets were in homes one a chemical weapons storage site and the other a facility equipment was kept it was also housed a command post syria's government says all the buildings had been. evacuated and bombs but we have our correspondents monitoring reaction from around the world people going live to one of them in a moment but first i want to share of maps developments so far from washington d.c. . a response had been promised predicted a no delivered my fellow americans a short time ago i ordered the united states armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of syrian
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dictator bashar al assad donald trump has argued be us how to take action to protect its national interest at the stop the assad regime use of chemical weapons the purpose of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production spread and use of chemical weapons establishing this deterrent is a vital national security interest of the united states and had this message for president assad's russian and the remaining allies what kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men women and children no nation can succeed in the long run by promoting rogue states brutal tyrants and murderous dictators. it's just over a year since the signing gas attack in syria provoked an american military response
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this was a joint operation the french and the british joining the americans tonight france the united kingdom and the united states took decisive action to strake the syrian chemical weapons infrastructure. clearly the assad regime did not get the message last year u.s. defense secretary says he was convinced of syrian involvement in the suspected chemical attack just hours before the operation was given the go ahead but i am confident the sherry in regime conducted a chemical attack on innocent people. in this last last week yes absolutely confident of it and we have the intelligence level of confidence that we needed to conduct the attack. but as donald trump addressed the country there were some questioning if you do legal power to launch the attack here in the united states our constitution says without any equivocation it's up to congress not the
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president not the executive branch to declare a war to say when we're going to go to war the president then executes that decision the russians had warned of consequences if the u.s. launched this attack because of its close ties to the syrian government the airstrikes may be over this new middle east crisis isn't alan fischer al-jazeera washington. and this is a live shot at the pentagon where we are expecting a briefing at any moment and we will of course bring you that live once it begins but for now let's move on to russia because the defense ministry has said that syrian forces shot down dozens of missiles launched by the u.s. and its allies. syrian forces repelled some attacks seventy one cruise missiles were intercepted syrian forces were activated russia has fully restored the system of defense over syria continues to improve it over the past six
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months we are a few supplies syria with zeenat is three hundred misao taking into account what has happened i consider necessary to reconsider this issue not in respect to syria but also in respect to other states we think that the strike was not in response to the alleged chemical attack but it is against the armed forces of syria the strike was inflicted on the day when damascus should start a special mission of investigation into the incident in duma allegedly chemical weapons we use the i want to call your attention that none of the objects of the production of chemical weapons exist in syria that was established by the organization for of chemical weapons this fact of american aggression testifies that there is no interest of the usa to have an objective investigation but an aspiration to thwart the process of peaceful settlement and destabilize the situation. let's go live now to moscow russia correspondent joining us from there and we're still waiting to hear a voice from foreign minister lavrov but as we've heard from the defense ministry
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spokesperson the russians have condemned these strikes and thought they were also expecting them. you know they were expecting them this had to be essentially the kind of the weight of the week having it when with the u.s. and its allies going to strike and what form would that strike take the russians knew it was coming the syrians knew was coming the iranians news coming everyone knew it was coming it was just waiting to see what would actually happen and so i think the you know the russians now looking at this from the other side of the events rather than trying to predict it now they can actually assess it their assessment is probably telling them this is a bearable cost to the strikes were fairly minimal they hits three facilities that's probably being cleared out days in advance anyway. it's the de confliction line between the u.s.
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and the russian military's in syria was obviously used. the russians had pretty good warning so we think that it's essentially the russians are kind of fairly content with how this is going it's a face saving gesture on both sides isn't it the the americans can blow off some steam and say they've given assad a bloody nose and the russians can count the costs that were avoided and then get back on with what they were doing previously which was helped by sharia law sides keep winning the war against the rebels roy thank you very much for that let's leave roy chalons there in moscow and go back to washington d.c. to the pentagon where we're going to hear from pentagon officials about the strikes let's listen in the use of chemical weapons anywhere in the world is an inexcusable violation of international law and united states will not tolerate. the assad
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regime's attack against innocent syrians and duma syria on april seventh is horrifying and tragic. and it demanded an immediate response. yesterday united states forces at the direction of president trump launched persuasion strikes against assad regime targets associated with the use of chemical weapons and syria. we launch these strikes to cripple syria's ability to use chemical weapons in the future we were joined by the united kingdom and france who demonstrated solidarity and addressing these atrocities americans are united in condemning syria's inexcusable use of chemical weapons which no civilized nation would tolerate. we are encouraged by the support we receive from the senators and congressman on both sides of the aisle we are also extremely proud of the united
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states service members who carried out this operation last night they demonstrated unwavering courage and commitment and their defense of the american people and the values and ideals our nation represents this operation was carefully orchestrated and methodically planned to minimize potential collateral damage i can assure you we took every measure and precaution to strike only what we targeted and what we success and we successfully hit every target this operation does not represent a change in u.s. policy nor an attempt to dispose to depose the syrian regime the strikes were justified legitimate and proportionate response to the syrian regime's continued use of chemical weapons on its own people. we do not seek conflict in
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syria but we cannot allow such grievous violations of international law our goal in syria remains defeating isis by within through the seventeen nation coalition but we will not stand by passively while saad backed by russia and iran ignores international law the assad regime's actions and april twenty seventh teen and again on april seventh two thousand and eighteen show they have abandoned their commitments to the international community and resorted to illegal tactics against the innocent syrian people we call upon russia to honor its commitment to ensure the assad regime dismantles its chemical weapons program and never uses chemical weapons again. we support our diplomats who are working to set the conditions for the united nations backed geneva process to succeed and we look
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forward to working with the united nations envoy to syria stefan de mistura and in effort to maintain transparency john mckenzie will now provide a detailed overview of the actual operations general and complete thanks thanks dana please join me good morning almost in the next couple of minutes just talking about the military details of the strikes that we executed last night and can i get the first graphic up please as you heard from the president on his face and directly in this room from secretary madison chairman dunford the united states the united kingdom france three of the five permanent members of the u.n. security council conducted a proportional persuasion coordinated strike in response to the syrian regime continued use of chemical weapons this combined military strike was directed against three distinct syrian chemical weapons program targets and i'm going to show them to you in turn on the monitor behind me going i think you have access to that information also the three facilities are are more appropriately now were
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fundamental components of the regime's chemical weapons warfare infrastructure let's go to the first place the bars a research and development center. next the apartment insurance our chemical weapons storage facility and last in the next slide please the hymns sent shin sar chemical weapons bunker facility which is located about seven kilometers from the previous him ships are site this strike and to deliver a clear and ambiguous message to the syrian regime that their use of chemical weapons against and its of innocent civilians is inexcusable and a terror in any future use of chemical weapons we selected these targets carefully to minimize the risk to innocent civilians we're still conducting a more detailed damage assessment but initial indications are that we accomplished our military objectives without material interference from syria i used three words
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to describe this operation precise overwhelming and effective let's go back to the first bars a slide please. i guess the first target the bar's a research and development center which is located in the greater damascus area we employ seventy six missiles fifty seven of these were tomahawk land attack cruise missiles and nineteen were joint air to surface standoff missiles or jasmine's as you can see for yourself from the graphics initial assessments are that this target was destroyed this is going to set the syrian chemical weapons program back for years and you also know that we've successfully destroyed three buildings in metropolitan damascus one of the most heavily defended aerospace areas in the world next slide please i guess the second target the him since our chemical weapons storage facility which is located in syria just west of holmes twenty two weapons were employed nine u.s. two lamps eight storm shadow missiles three naval cruise missiles in to scout land
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attack cruise missiles so this target was attacked by all coalition forces are tomahawks the british storm shadow and then the french french missiles want to guess that as well i guess the third target next lied to him since our chemical weapons bunker facility. we deployed seven scout missiles again the initial assessment is that this democracy really was successfully hit and now just like to talk a bit about the specific platforms that were part of this strike and let's go back to the first slide please the missiles that i've just described were delivered from british french and u.s. air and naval platforms in the red sea the northern arabian gulf and the eastern mediterranean all weapons hit their targets at very close to the designated time on target of about four am in syria which of course is not o'clock here on the east coast i'm to give you more details now about the platforms first in the red sea the to counteract that to counteract a class cruiser monterey far thirty tomahawk land attack cruise missiles and they
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are early bird class destroyer lagoon fired seven tomahawks in the north arabian go off the bird class destroyer higgens fired twenty three tomahawks in the eastern mediterranean the french frigate language fired three missiles of their naval version of the scat missile also in the mediterranean the virginia class submarine john warner fired six tomahawk missiles in the air to be one last or bombers fired nineteen joint air to surface standoff missiles in addition our british allies flew a combination of tornados and tie phones and launched eight storm shadow missiles our french allies if you flew a combination of referrals and mirages and launched nine scout missiles taken together and as you can see from the graphic behind me these attacks on multiple axes were able to overwhelm the syrian air defense system it's also important to note that we flew a variety of defensive carrier air tanker and electronic warfare aircraft in
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support of these operations none of our aircraft or missiles involved in the software ation were successfully engaged by syrian air defenses and we have no indication that russian air defense systems were employed. we are confident that all of our missiles reach their targets at the end of the strike mission all our aircraft safely return to their bases we assessed that over forty surface to air missiles were employed by the syrian regime most of these launches occurred after the last impact of our strike was over it is likely that the regime shot many of these missiles on a ballistic trajectory i mean by that without guidance and we assess that the defensive efforts of syria were largely ineffective and clearly increased risk to their own people but based on this indiscriminate response when you shoot our own into the air without guidance it's going to come down somewhere by contrast the precise nature of our strike and the care which our allied team planned and
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executed significantly reduce the risk of collateral damage to civilians in summary you know powerful show of allied unity we deployed one hundred five weapons against three targets that will significantly impact the syrian regime's ability to develop deploy and use chemical weapons in the future it's been said before but i don't want to emphasize again the by comparison the strike was double the size of the last strike unable to thousand and seventeen and i'd also emphasize that this strike was a multinational effort the precision strike was executed with france and the u.k. demonstrating our unquestionable was off i'd like to close by noting that since the strike we have not seen any military response from actors within syria and we remain postured to protect our forces and those of the coalition should anything occur then back to you so with that to take your questions. take you to general mckenzie he said to us today surely that the attack. cumulatively set
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back the syrian chemical weapons program for years to be can you elaborate on that . this white said that it was intended to cripple it. could you be more sure i think i think we. well as of right now we are not aware of any stall into that part first as or now we're not aware of any civilian casualties that will you know i would also note and i as i said in my prepared remarks the syrians shot forty large missiles into the air last night those missiles came down somewhere and so we should just recognize that's a part of this that's a part of this equation too but we don't right now we have no reporting of any civilian casualties against any of the targets that we struck and we'll continue to look at this closely as we go ahead so the very briefly the first part of your question particular the bars of the facility is a core site for them and as you can see from the graphic it does not exist anymore and we believe they've lost a lot of equipment they've lost a lot of material and it's going to have a significant effect on which i think the words cripple and degrade are are good
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accurate words tom. secretary made it so it was that he was pretty convinced it boring was you she's still waiting on sara. you also said he was confident that the syrian regime about cities and of course attacks what evidence do you have of both both of fluorine and all of this syrian attack and also the o.p.c. don't view is on the ground now they're collecting information that. we are still assessing but as the secretary said last night he is confident of the evidence that we already had and which is why he recommended this the strikes last night but we are still assessing and getting details in will and we can provide more details once we happened what evidence you do have. various there's various and tell and i won't speak to that but when we have more evidence and more details i
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will come back to you tom barbara for both of you first general mckenzie could you speak about in warsaw and these other facilities we were there to actually are you convinced there were chemical agents inside at the time that this strike how did you miss. not having to disperse the dispersal of a chemical agent cloud and dana you know yesterday the president talked about the possibility of a sustained response and the secretary last night spoke about this being. a single strike at this time you don't people understand is there a difference there what are they both talking about but for both of you please start barbara so if we look at each of these targets we have a variety of sophisticated models plume analysis other things to calculate the possible effects of chemical or nerve agent being in there in relation of the bar's a target yes we assess that there are probably some chemical nerve agents in that
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target however we believe that by the way we attack it the attack profile that we use the way our weapon has looked at it we were able to minimize that and so i'll just leave it at that you can you'll be able to judge over the next few hours the the the results of that but we believe that we successfully mitigated against the fact that there are the legal and authorize weapons at these sites very briefly are you doing any prints detect air sampling to see if there was any dispersant and we can look at the target through a variety amount. and with respect. to his comment i think the operative word is the words were at this time what happens going forward has everything to do with the assad regime. sent a very clear message last night and we hope that he heard it jeff but dr mckenzie have you had any contacts with the russians through the go fiction lines in the aftermath of the celebrations or are you planning to have such contacts in the next
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few hours as you know the de confliction channel which we use between we in the russians is has operated frequently over the past few months it continued operate frequently leading up to the strike in in a routine basis after the strike. hans the three targets that you struck were those manufacturing researching chlorine coursera. a little of both in him particularly in the more as a target but there's a little of both then do you do any of these facilities have any other known military applications. know there sensually this is what they do principally there may be other activities there that are carried on there but this is the core activity associated with these sites fill. you you said that none of the russian air defenses were not turned on how do you explain that was there and you can see right inside the russian air defenses returned were not turned on i said they were employed or employed i'm sorry was or agreement with the russians they would not employ their defenses and then also as you said the syrian air defenses did not
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have any significant impact on the outbreak is that they said there was no interception of any of these missiles that were fired so we did no coordination no no agreements with the russians before the strikes important to know that we do conflict with you nothing more than that and i want to say that to the best of our ability to determine at this time no syrian weapons had any effect on anything that we did tar i think you and dana heard for you last year when these a similar type strike occurred. there was an assessment that he degraded syria's ability to generate chemical weapons he had a couple months later the pentagon thought that it's specific airfield was right back at it what assurances do you have now they have significantly degraded syria's ability to generate chemical weapons and then for general mixon that slide appears that he wants or escorted by u.s. fighters can you tell us who is going to be wind and what type of service air missiles were shot out in the air the forty and that and getting back to the
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russian defenses if their defenses weren't employed or the russian radars and all in place where they've been painting of the u.s. aircraft so i'll take the first one last year the focus was on the delivery. this time we went the strikes went to the very heart of the enterprise to the research to development to storage so we are very confident and that we have significantly crippled on the side debility to produce these are weapons. let me just say this latest answer again and so the ones employed jazz them are joint standoff missile so that was a weapon that they used to be ones were accompanied by a u.s. fighters up to the launcher release point there's a normal way you'd integrated air package to provide protection to the to the bombers just as the french and british aircraft were accompanied by their own fighters as part of an integrated package that provides defense for the shooters
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a dish additionally we positioned defensive counter air around the theater and in fact it still operational right now as we observe a potential syrian response rafters. i don't know the answer that question but we'll get back to you i just don't know that david got the reports that these that these facilities or today that these facilities had been evacuated days prior to yesterday's strike do you have any indication either of you that that's the case and wouldn't that to some degree degrade your sense been of the damage that is done it's been done to the regime sure the syrian regime knows that we've been looking at these targets for a long time so it is possible it's possible that there might some people might have left that we also chose to strike at three o'clock in the morning four o'clock in the morning local time so we weren't trying to kill a lot of people on the objective so we were struck at a different time of the day i believe however that there is material and equipment associated with each of these sites that was not movable and that's the source of the best that's what really sets him back and to go back to an earlier question that's really the difference between striking an airfield and essentially
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a delivery platform and a research development and generation part of the facility this is far more damaging to syria michael mackenzie were the three targets that were struck does this represent the totality of syria's no one seed. infrastructure or where there are c.w. structures that weren't you didn't hit because of collateral damage concerns second is chlorine the new red line because the administration. monitored the use of chlorine approach many months and didn't take any action and it seems only to have taken action because i'm sure agent appears to have been used and this is the last weapons question with the jazz amused and extended range jazz artist first generation she told me in terms of the targeting as we selected targets obviously the syrian chemical weapons system is larger than the three targets that we addressed and not however these are the these are the targets that presented the best opportunity to minimize collateral damage to avoid killing innocent civilians
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and yet to send a very strong message we could have gone to other places and done other things but we in close coordination with our allies decided these were the ones that that best fit those that best fit that criteria so there's certainly there's an element that that is not part of the there are other elements and we'll continue to examine those as we go forward so we did employ the jazz in new york. thank you both you destroyed most of the infrastructure fifty percent eighty percent or you can look at the map you can look particular the bars aside and make your own conclusions i would say they had three buildings or in a parking deck and now they don't so i think very that's probably the one it's easiest to see because it's a building structure there i think we've dealt them a severe blow there some left but we dealt them a severe blow with respect to the use of chlorine in the future would you ministration didn't act to plan in the event of previous use of chlorine again it will that act now is that a new red line. that's important understand that the assad regime has
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a pattern of. using chemical weapons gets its own people against the chemical weapons convention despite the fact that they had agreed to it and that despite the fact that the russians were there guarantors so what happens next has everything to do with what the assad regime decides to do and it has everything to do with the russian government decides to a naval as well stephanie. why did you want to. touch on this story why does the administration feel these strikes are enough to deter assad regime from using chemical weapons again. pass it to general. we were very methodical and making the decision about these sites and it was a deliberate decision to go to the storage facilities to go to the research and development facilities that was the difference we think by doing this this was
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very successful. and we are confident that we've significantly degraded his ability to ever use chemical weapons again what response should the assad regime expect from the us navy if they were to use chemical weapons again when i think it's very important to remember that we had that this represents three permanent members of the un security council who did this u.k. and france our oldest allies. this is about values. we did this because it's intolerable for any civilized nation to tolerate the use of chemical weapons. missy i think you are just. one follow up on michael's question for you general and i question for you dan general can you just depress you a little bit on the chemical weapons weapons program can you give us an idea of.
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was this should the american public. understand that this is a minority of the existing chemical weapons programs is this more than half is there any way you can give us a better sense of the scale of what these three sites represented also for you general how long did the story. last how many minutes hours and then for you can you just comment on to put this a little bit in the context of the broader civil war i know that the u.s. policy is not to get engaged in the civil war and that the objective is to get to a negotiated settlement eventually but you know we have this significant military response to chemical attacks that in this instance killed an estimated forty five people at the same time they also regime has continued to use conventional means to attack women and children civilians repeatedly you see barrel bombs and other means can you just talk about that how how should people understand the difference in the
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response to these more isolated chemical attacks and the ongoing conventional attacks by the assad government on its own people it is clear to everyone that the syrian people have suffered for too long and it's why we are one hundred percent behind the u.n. backed geneva peace process and we encourage our allies and partners in the region to also. help. the facilitate that conversation we have a new u.n. envoy and this is an opportunity to really put real steam behind the process but our mission in syria remains the same it is to defeat isis it is not to be involved in the same. wore christina so the direction i was heart is christine i'm sorry maybe missy so your two part question first we believe that by hidden bars in particular we we've attacked the heart of the syrian chemical weapons program i'm not saying they're not going to be able to reconstitute their
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case and it's not saying that it's going to continue but this is dealt them a very serious blow so i think that's that's the core of what i'm saying second point is how long the attack last as you know an operation like this has many many elements from a zero four hundred time on target which all our missiles impacted within a minute or two of that time really several hours before you begin to launch tankers you begin to launch intelligence aircraft you begin to do a variety of things probably a couple hours before would be the period of maximum intensity for the mission that's when you're beginning to spin and launch the t. lambs from the ships that's when your other aircraft are beginning to get to the point where they're going to release their missiles but the operation actually many hours before in order to just get set up christina what would trigger another wave of pollution attacks are we talking you know another chemical weapons attack or retaliation and do we expect any retaliation either from the regime from the russians or the iranians i can't speculate on what could happen but what i will tell you is that this we took action and what happens next is
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and is the decision of assad. i think any kind of retaliation so i can't speak to that but i can tell you that we're ready for it we're postured both in the region and globally in the balls or if it were ready for any from tony snow or since one was just the least extensive of all the options that were crafted can you give us a feel for how many options were put together and was this the one that would meet up in the least amount of damage so i would tell you that we can't comment on options we present to the president that's that's the choice he makes i'm not going to discuss that i will tell you that. all the options carefully looked at ways to minimize collateral damage you balance always minimizing collateral damage and it's getting maximum effect these are three targets that seem to hit the sweet spot and do that or what impact did that very public pretty ludicrous to this attack have on
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military planning in terms of going to helping you know maybe a twenty first century bodyguard of wise terms the deception not sure the meds what impact could it have on possibly launch it accesses of the aircraft or ships used we're all focused on the donald cook down coat was and you can get some sense of that sure if i could build on your bodyguard allies comment the truth is it had no effect that the military fighting it had no effect on the airplane david yes they did not i've heard you say that this trying to put more steam behind the chinese to the peace process how does this help bring peace to syria. the u.n. we have we have been very clear about the fact that we fully support the un backed geneva process sochi has failed. our focus remains defeating isis it is not to get involved in the syrian civil war. we call on all nations and i think the
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demonstration of our allies france and the u.k. helping us demonstrates that we are serious about the fact that chemical weapons use is intolerable it's inexcusable but we will remain committed to the seventeen nation coalition to defeat isis in music right. here in the. by again demonstrating to the world that this is a heinous regime this is a regime that murders its own people daily we yesterday with the help of our allies addressed the fact that they continue to use chemical weapons against their own people we continue to hope and urge and we're confident that the u.n.
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process will move forward. but our mission remains to defeat isis there is still work to be done and we will do it right here and right here. this question. were you ready to engage russian targets in case russia responded to that attack the second. you keep talking about the current syrian chemical program can you give us an idea about this size of this program in comparison to what the regime had before dismantling it what is in percentage and third you're talking about evidence of chemical weapons attack we haven't seen any evidence really that's what you're saying however there is an organisation on the ground in syria the of the c w and it will conduct an investigation why didn't you wait for that investigation to one well let's remember that. you and
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others have been blocked from entering and do not see this that's because of the assad regime we need to remember that everything that's happening with respect to the murder of these people and isn't. is the responsibility of the saddam regime so we were very confident about the evidence that we had. and it was clear and the secretary said yesterday he was very confident about the intelligence as well as the evidence and that's why we moved for instance on russia and the size of the tournament really active affective d. confliction channel with russia it's been used months before this attack it was used through this through the strike and it's been used afterwards and i'm not going to comment on the anything more specific on the program the current program of the what does he regime has now all it's like you made lots of assessment you have a good idea you have lots of targets so in comparison to what the us and regime are
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saying they're still a residual element of the syrian program this out there i believe that we took the heart of it out with the attacks that we have accomplished last night i'm not going to say that they're going to be unable to continue to conduct a chemical attack in the future i suspect however they'll think long and hard about it after based on the activities of last night we have a couple time for a couple of questions address things you know the president trying to read about an hour ago mission accomplished of course historically has not borne out when the phrase has been used and you're saying that if you know you've left the option open for future strikes in case chemical weapons are used again so could you sort of reconcile those two statements make mission accomplished and then could be used in the future in terms of authorities if there are other strikes does secretary secretary have to go to president trump or has he been delegated the authority to carry them out as he sees fit so into your first point. last night operations were very successful we met our objectives we hit the sites the heart of the chem
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weapons program so it was mission accomplished. give me your second part second part is the authorities question if there are future strikes just the same process to go where you go to the n.s.c. and these and see what is the process now as as the secretary said last night the president has the authority under article two to defend u.s. interests and national interests and so i'm not going to speculate on anything that happens in the future but he was full this is a fully legitimate operation. brian kenzie did chairman of the joint chiefs general dunford to communicate with general grissom on in the days or hours leading up to this strike and then in addition would you do you assess that this is actually fundamentally change the military balance of the syrian civil war or is the assad regime maintaining its advantage so i go back to some of the things i've already said about the de confliction channel with the russians so multilevel robust system
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of communication that we employ that we've employed for some time i'm not going to be able to give you any more information on the particular conversation that the chairman may or may not have had. what was the second part of a question it's a balance of the civil war these strikes fundamentally affect batterers as the assad regime is apparent ascendancy for me i think were targeted to send a message about the employment of chemical weapons and i think there were successful achieving that military objective which is what i want to get someone who hasn't spoken but way back you're content with want to thank you dana just following up on a change his question this question of mission accomplished if the mission is to deter president assad from producing from spreading chemical weapons is that actually impossible at this stage militarily to know whether that mission as described was accomplished last night's. operations were successful we met all of our objectives we hit all of our targets successfully you know aircrafts allied aircraft were engaged it was
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a successful mission what happens next depends on what the assad regime decides to do right over here. that's accurate that's what he said earlier that he didn't observe any material effects on forces during the strike can you describe any other effects electromagnetic or cyber effect or perhaps targeted towards coalition craft and also have you observed any activity around residual remaining sites that you didn't strike to suggest perhaps an after action plan to hide or use chemical weapons in some other way the syrian syrian response was remarkably ineffective in all the mines is probably the best answer i can give you and so they had no material impact on the strike as i noted in my prepared comments they actually typically began to fire their missiles after the last impact of our weapon so no snowed no appreciable effect in that i that we know at this time it was are going
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to be able to use and let that finish or stop other activity around other sites perhaps movement of weapons or of a movement of chemicals or movement of going into it i just don't have that information right now sorry ok tom just yesterday you said we're very confident about the evidence we have now russia and syria denied any chemical weapons were used i'm just wondering why you wouldn't share your evidence with the world at least stevenson famously went to the u.n. in one nine hundred sixty two with the evidence of the russian buildup in cuba why wouldn't you do something similar is specially if there were doubts but there's no doubt for us well sure the evidence that. one a lot of this has to do with intelligence and and i'm very happy to show evidence if i can but we were very confident about the decisions we made i'm going to take one more question from aaron. you've already spoken come on get someone on the team and aaron just a couple of clarification point place they. can see you said i believe they're
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still in their defense package is in operation right now to in case there's a potential for retaliation for either syrian or russian assets how long do you intend to keep that package in the area specifically keeping an eye on if there's kind of a retaliation to this strike and during the strikes last year a couple that he went on to believe failed just not because we know here as it is available are there any weapons that didn't make it to their targets this time none of our talks experienced any problems so i don't believe so you know and your last question we typically keep the cia over deployed forces in eastern syria so typically we've got aircraft up over them so this one as we as we open in time from the event going forward the commander will continually readjust their air defense posture that we've got right now it's robust and we'll keep it robust for a while they will make adjustments just based on our observations of the environment and lucas. who general the syrian government is saying the shot down over a dozen tomahawks are they lying and what sherron military units that you strike
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and for the people at home can explain this decon flexion saving important aid or would you give a heads up to the russians be said you do conflicted and dana finally you say you want to avoid conflict with syria yet with all due respect you just lob a couple dozen tomahawk cruise missiles into the country and you explain that. our mission stays the same it's to defeat isis but assad's actions were beyond the pale. again we will do our we will hundred percent and we are supporting envoy de mistura we will continue to do that because we want a diplomatic political resolution to the sill syrian conflict but civilized nations can't let what's happened in syria stand so with that i'm going to oh sorry go ahead sure so you asked about the confliction probably the best way to
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understand it is this the russians don't have a veto on anything that we do and that's probably the best way to describe it we're not cooperating with them in syria we don't want to get into a fight with them they don't want to get into a fight with us the best way to do that is to share and for certain information about what you're doing carefully carefully metered out by us and i'm sure the same by them but we're not cooperating with them and they have no veto over what we do the same time we owe it to our servicemen and women in those recollection partners to do the best we can to simplify the environment which we're going to be which we're going to fight so that the complex and mechanisms allow us to do that as a last part your question i can't help you with what the syrians are saying or not saying but i'm telling us what actually happened and on that point and as secretary mattis said last night the russian dissin from nation campaign has already begun. there has been a two thousand percent increase in russian trolls in the last twenty four hours. therefore we will keep you all abreast of the facts moving forward thank you all
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very much. so we have been listening there to a briefing from the pentagon in washington d.c. from the spokespeople and some new information about those air strikes those u.s. led air strikes on three targets in serbia from left hand and general kenneth mckenzie they are one hundred five weapons were deployed against three targets that it was the attack was double the size of the previous attack by the u.s. in april two thousand and seventeen and that this time stressing that it was a multinational response they said they still conducting a detailed assessment of damage to the sites but the initial assessment was that it was successful. research and development center was the first size targeted near damascus they said that that's been destroyed and all set to the syrian government's chemical weapons program back for years. they said that the missiles were delivered from submarines in from bases in the red sea the eastern
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mediterranean and also from the air with details about the aircraft are used and the missiles launched an interesting lead they also said that none of their missiles was intercepted by the syrian air defense system which of course the syrian government has said that they were and that the russian air defense system was not involved that's the pentagon's assessment of how things went where u.s. president donald trump has also had his say via twitter he said a perfectly executed strike last minute thank you to france and the united kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine military could not have had a better result mission accomplished. well let's get more on this now we're joined by modules where a director at the gulf studies center at chatham university and he's joining us here misters a very always good to have you with us on al jazeera as you've been listening to that pentagon briefing with me and they very much echoed that tweet by president
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trump mission accomplished i mean what do you make of that have these strikes really destroyed syria's chemical weapons program and will they deter them from using them again my first assessment that this. press conference is actually confusing the providing answers for the following reasons the first one that. the lady and in the gentleman did mention that still syrian regime has the structure. nuclear program has not been destroyed as it should be so it means basically they may be downgraded they will be weakened that still the regime still has the sky and the capability the second element is where are those locations since two thousand seventeen when the country cone reports the priority i think the time is to attack those three target rather than to target the airports that time
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the third element is that. the the attempt to watch the hand of the fact that they are moving outside the international norm by saying we are still committed to the following piece you know a political process geneva a political process we are committed to. and we are also we don't want to regime change in syria so all this actually more confusion to the situation in syria and three and the puts highlight an important question what about millions of syrians who were killed what was the united states and france and the u.k. did to avoid another million of people to be called or forced to leave their country i think this operation today despite all of this focus on it in terms of you know how it happened in the impact still this is more
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a question about the credibility of the process it's definitely more questions than answers i think at this point and both dana wires and left and general kenneth mckenzie were asked many times actually about what evidence they have that supports their claims that the syrian government was behind this attack because we're still waiting for that investigation from the chemical weapons watchdog the organization for the perhaps bishan of chemical weapons these strikes took place before that investigation and both spokespeople saying that well we don't have we're not going to give you the evidence evidence yet we want more evidence ourselves i think what i was today the prime minister of the u.k. had a press conference in the morning and now from washington the same of course has been raised by. journalists and the question was nearly the same that we have intelligence evidences we have did use for example there are videos are
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provided by. turkey government and the run president in particular he sent the videos about you know proving that these are the. chemical weapons to putin and the two other. presidents so i think the evidence images approach costs millions of t.v.'s and use the station over the world i think i think that is the you know the attempt not to say what are the villains i think the people there they don't want the evidence i mean the public the public opinion in the world. not interested of seeing the evidence because what they watch and in the media i think they want to see how much actually the decision is actually affecting stopping another attempt they want to see why if the if these are the evidence you why the operation is very limited i think the question about the evidence is to question the credibility of the operation if those are the few i mean the the journalist as
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raising the question if you have the strong evidence why the operation is very limited why it's not strong enough why it's not ending the chemical weapon forever in syria and that's the reason i think the three capitals now they are under severe pressure to say for these following evidence we have done what we do which is a very thank you as always for your time thank you appreciate it thank you of british prime minister trains the mayor has been trying to emphasize that they are not trying to topple the assad regime. last night british french and american armed forces conducted coordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the syrian regime's chemical weapons capability and deter the use this was not about interfering in a civil war and it was not about regime change as i discussed with president trump
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and president makram it was a limited targeted and effective strike with clear boundaries that expressly sought to avoid escalation and did everything possible to prevent civilian casualties we would have preferred an alternative path but on this occasion there is none. we can also allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalized. other and they takes a look at reaction across the middle east. so liberations in the streets of the syrian capital and a message of defiance from government supporters hours after u.s. led airstrikes were described as the tripartite aggression. the strikes didn't come as a surprise for days the u.s. and its allies were discussing their options that allowed the government to evacuate military installations and potential targets. at the end the operation lasted for less than an hour it was limited to destroying what the pentagon said
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was syria's chemical weapons infrastructure in the words of the u.s. defense secretary james mattis a one off shot just like was executed and now with that. doesn't the russians particularly or not with the russians and very difficult position and push them to retaliate so i think everybody i mean i said it before everybody seems to have been relieved and some seems to be happy because this like was not as bad as it was a few days ago. the western alliance said the strikes were about deterring the use of chemical weapons but the syrian opposition leader nasser and how d.d. once and on all attacks against civilians by the syrian government on twitter he said maybe the regime will not use chemical weapons again but it will not hesitate to use weapons this was never about regime change nor was it about reducing the
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syrian government's military strength and it's not just about punishing the government for the alleged use of toxic materials. the main issue is iran's presence in syria so this sort of crisis has to be seen in this political context this time they didn't target iran because they wanted to avoid escalation but the issue about their presence has not gone away especially for israel. israel has been targeting iranian assets in syria for some time now iran said seven of its revolutionary guards were killed in the latest suspected strike on the t. for air base it's promising retaliation the risk of confrontation between the u.s. and russian military may have now receded but the possibility of a showdown between israel and iran is still on the table the iranian backed lebanese group hezbollah which is fighting alongside the syrian government says there is a new phase following the attack on the t. four air base israel says is now in a state of direct confrontation with iran. iran's supreme leader ayatollah ali
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khamenei denounced the leaders of the u.s. u.k. and france as criminals following saturday's strikes and said they won't achieve any gains there were fears of a wider conflict if russian iranian and hezbollah forces were targeted the pro syrian government alliance is the clearing victory but this is not the end of the crisis for bashar al assad arriving for work on saturday it appears he wanted it to look like business as usual. beirut. and that does it for the al-jazeera news alba do stay with us takes over shortly with the latest world reaction to dollars. and cents tax against syria's government. in australia more indigenous children are being taken from their families than ever
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before. investigates whether history is repeating itself. on al-jazeera. getting to the heart of the matter if well stuff i can see the turkish cypriot leader calls you today and says let's have talks would you accept facing the realities what do you think reunification would look like there are two people think the peace for unification is the only option for prosperity deal for south korea hear their story on talk to al-jazeera. bureaus spawning six continents across the globe. i would use here is correspondents live and bring the stories they tell of this was not good news nobody not on a lesser scale. we're at the mercy of the russian camp for palestinian growth i'll just zero fluent in world news. on counting the cost how to get ahead in
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