we are prepared to do more. a lorry ploughs into pedestrians in the swedish capital stockholm, killing four people and injuring 15. police make one arrest. i could actually see bodies lying on the street and i could see the police covering the bodies with an orange blanket. andreea cristea, who fell into the thames during the westminster terror attack last month, has died. and coming up newsnight, we will hear from syria's to be and coming up newsnight, we will hearfrom syria's to be foreign minister. what is his account of the chemical weapon attack earlier this week, and his reaction to the us missile strike on his country? good evening and welcome to bbc news. russia, an ally of syria,
has condemned a missile strike authorised by president trump on a syrian government target. 59 tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from us warships in the mediterranean at the shayrat air base. it was from there, according to mr trump, that this week's deadly chemical weapons attack in northern syria was launched. in a moment, we'll get the latest on russia's response — and how the strike could affect the long war in syria. but first, here's our north america editorjon sopel and a warning, his report does contain some distressing images. it was after dark on the east coast of america and before the sun had risen in the middle east, when the commander—in—chief gave the order to strike. from two us warships in the eastern mediterranean, a volley of cruise missiles was fired, targeting a single military airbase outside homs that had been used, say the americans, by the syrian air force to launch the deadly chemical weapons attack on idlib earlier in the week. it was in this vital
national security interest of the united states to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons. there could be no dispute that syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the chemical weapons convention, and ignored the urging of the un security council. the grotesque after effects of the attack — the us believe the nerve agent sarin was used — horrified the world, and, more importantly, horrified this president. a line had been crossed, and unlike his predecessor, he was going to act. assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children. it was a slow and brutal death for so many.
even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. no child of god should ever suffer such horror. what is truly astonishing, dizzying even, is the speed with which this administration has changed its policy towards syria and decided to act. at the beginning of the week, president trump saw bashar al—assad as a useful ally in the fight against so—called islamic state. there was no talk of regime change. but the chemical weapons attack changed everything, and within two days, targets had been identified and struck. here's what we know about the attack. 59 tomahawk cruise missiles were launched from the two destroyers in the eastern med. the shayrat airbase is some 20 from homs, deep in syrian government—held territory. targets included aircraft,
their shelters, fuel depots, air defences and radar sites. but because russian forces are also deployed at the base, russia was informed of the attack in advance. the aftermath shows damage and debris at the base, but hardly devastation. the pentagon says it didn't particularly target the runways, as they can be quickly repaired. the aim was to destroy the infrastructure that allows the base to function, and the attack has brought the president strong support. mr president was authorised to conduct the strike. he's not asking for a declaration of war. he's not committing ground troops over an extended period of time. he was dealing with exigent circumstances. and as the commander—in—chief not only does he have the right, he has an obligation to act. hillary clinton has also backed the president's action, but with this qualification. we cannot in one breath speak of protecting syrian babies and in the next close america's doors to them. the president and his team at the makeshift situation room
at mar—a—lago, as they await news of the strike. donald trump, who didn't want to get embroiled in foreign conflicts, hasjust ordered us forces into action. and as he ended his address to the nation last night, he no longer sounded like the america first isolationist. good night and god bless america and the entire world. thank you. the president, not yet 100 days in, has travelled a long way in a short time. jon sopel, bbc news, palm beach, florida. well, russia, as a supporter of president assad, has accused the united states of violating international law. it said that president trump's actions encouraged terrorists in the region, including the islamic state group in syria. our moscow correspondent steve rosenberg has the latest on russia's response. until recently, the russian media
had been singing donald trump's praises. but no longer. today, state television accused him of an unprovoked show of force. with a missile strike that he had ordered ona missile strike that he had ordered on a syrian air base. less than half of the missiles fired, moscow claimed, hit theirtarget. still, russia condemned very attack as a gross violation of the international rulebook. it is definitely an aggressive act against international law, against a sovereign country, and without any true evidence of the assad regime being guilty of using chemical weapons. its russian military power that has been keeping president assad in power. russia's air force president assad in power. russia's airforce and president assad in power. russia's air force and navy helping syria's leader turned the tide of the country ‘s civil war, and boosting
moscow's role in the middle east. today, the kremlin accused washington of using a pretext for missile strikes. those american tomahawks might be targeting the syrian military, but byjudging what the command has been saying, it is relations between us and russia that will now really a battering. the russians had been hoping the donald trump in the white house that relations with america would improve. but so far, there has been no sign of that. later, the two countries clashed at the un security council. translation: it could be that russia is knowingly allowing chemical weapons to remain in syria. it could be that russia has been incompetent in its efforts to remove the chemical weapons. all it could be that the assad regime is playing the russians for false. —— that the assad regime is playing the russians forfalse. —— macgowan. that the assad regime is playing the russians for false. —— macgowan.” would ask russia not to say these
things ina would ask russia not to say these things in a country. this means that we have two big military powers in the area operating without any contact or co—ordination, which is dangerous. russia is hoping that this us strike was a i—off. but denied, it is strengthening and offences across syria, just in case. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow. a lorry has been driven into a crowd of pedestrians in stockholm, killing four people and injuring 15, nine of them seriously. the swedish prime minister said everything suggested it was an act of terrorism. the incident happened mid—afternoon on a busy pedestrian shopping street, with the truck eventually crashing into a department store. tonight police arrested a man who they say resembles images they released on cctv after the attack. our correspondent dan johnson has just sent this report from the swedish capital. people running in terror, at eight
truck races towards shoppers in a shopping centre in soccer. and this is where it ended up, in flames after crashing. translation: is exactly where the lorry went in, just there. —— stockholm. there wasn't much of a reaction, that the police arrive. they just said that you had reaction, that the police arrive. theyjust said that you had to run. you can actually see bodies lying on the street, and police covering the bodies with an orange blanket. and there were lots of police around, lots of people around filming and taking photos. the truck belongs to a brewery company, who said that a man hijacked it earlier as it was dropping off the air. the bluntest of weapons, used to deliver a sudden and deadly blow that has hit sweden hard. there was a lady laying with a severed foot and blood everywhere,
there were bodies on the ground everywhere. and it was so panic. people standing by their loved ones, with people running away. so many questions. first, who was involved, and why? police quickly released images of a man they wanted to question, and within hours they had made an arrest. translation: earlier, we released a picture of a picture the person we we re picture of a picture the person we were interested in speaking to. a short while ago, we spoke to that person. —— a picture of person. short while ago, we spoke to that person. -- a picture of person. and sweden's prime ministers said they would not give in to terror. thoughts, concerns, and condolences have reached many of us from all around the world. and we are grateful for the many warm expressions of sharing our grief. we are determined never to let the values that we treasure, democracy,
human rights, and freedom, to be undermined by hatred. after hours at the lockdown, at least some normality is returning to the city. the metro has reopened, and people are returning. there is an uneasy feel, india, tonight. this has really shaken people in the city. the police are visible in number and they are already making extra checks at sweden's borders. already, some say this is a wake—up call per security services. sweden has a proud history as an open society that embraces all, but it is now the latest corner of europe forced to confront death so sudden, so shocking. we received this update a short time ago. indeed, it is a big challenge. there is a strange atmosphere on the streets of the city time. at the —— andy swiss people are considering
quietly what happened here today and what it might mean. incidentally raises some difficult questions. —— and the swedish. as yet, we know nothing about who is behind us what their motivation may have been. the police are questioning one man, and they are searching, urgently, for another. there is a challenge for the security services here and across all cities, really, as to how to keep people safe when they walk through a city like this if someone is prepared to kill with an object as everyday and ordinary as a delivery truck. some of the day's other stories: a romanian tourist who fell into the river thames during the westminster terror attack has died. andreea cristea was walking on westminster bridge with her boyfriend when they were driven at by the attacker khalid masood, who was later shot dead by police. her boyfriend had planned to propose later that day. her life support was withdrawn yesterday. the 31—year—old becomes the fifth victim of the march 22 attack. a man who avoided being sent to jail
for domestic violence by claiming he'd lose the chance to become a professional cricketer has been jailed for 18 months following a review of his case. mustafa bashir attacked his partner with a cricket bat and tried to force her to drink bleach. but the club he claimed had offered him a contract, leicestershire, contacted police after the original hearing to say they'd never heard of him. there was anger from domestic violence campaigners when his initial sentence was suspended. the stage and screen actor tim pigott smith has died. it is not enough to say that i am english and you are indian. but i am a ruler and you are one of the ruled. he was well known for his portrayal of ronald merrick in the epic drama, jewel in the crown, in the 1980s, for which he won a bafta. and in his most recent role he played sniggs in the new bbc adaptation of evelyn waugh‘s decline and fall.
let's have a quick look at some of the front pages. the times leads with the warning from moscow that the united states is "one step away from military clashes with russia". it says the us is looking into whether russia was complicit in assad's use of chemical weapons. the ft has a picture of the stockholm attack. but its main story is syria and what it calls the "stark shift" in us strategy. the mirror also leads with russia's warning to trump. the mail leads on washington's message at the un that it is ready to launch further attacks against assad. the express also leads on syria, besides an image of the burning truck in sweden. the guardian says the white house appeared to back away from wider military involvement in syria, leaving the world perplexed at its strategy. and the telegraph leads with the horror in sweden. it says the attacker appeared to target young children deliberately. that's a summary of the news,