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tv   BBC News  BBC News  April 14, 2018 3:00pm-3:31pm BST

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mathis this is bbc news. live in beirut. the headlines at 3pm... britain, the us and france have bombed three sites in syria. more than 100 missiles were fired in the joint action — targeting what they say are chemical weapons facilities. in the last hour the pentagon has said the operation against the syrian regime had successfully hit every target. the efforts by syria we re every target. the efforts by syria were largely ineffective and clearly risked their own people, based on their indiscriminate response. russia has condemned the attack but said syrian government forces shot down at least two thirds of the missiles. the un security council is to meet today, at russia's request. president assad of syria says it's an act of aggression
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and bombing his country will only increase his determination to fight his opponents. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. you arejoining our you are joining our extended special coverage of the overnight operation against suspected chemical weapons targets in syria. britain, the us and france are saying they have bombed three sites in syria, linked to the storage and testing of chemical weapons. in the last hour the pentagon said the explosions at a scientific research facility in the capital, damascus, as well as two locations near the city of homs.
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they say they have crippled syria's michael weapons capability. earlier this morning, president donald trump ina this morning, president donald trump in a tweet thanked his allies. he said the strikes were perfectly executed and described it as mission accomplished. syria has called this as flagrant violation of international law and has been condemnation from russia. we can ci’oss condemnation from russia. we can cross to moscow for a briefing by the russian foreign minister, sergei lavrov. translation: in controversial evidence that chemical weapons were used in douma and an eastern ghouta. and secondly, as if they have becketts. .. eastern ghouta. and secondly, as if they have becketts... so that the person responsible for this was bashar al—assad. i would like to remind you that we had these words from poland. at a previous time, on
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the previous location, there was sarin gas used... and there was no doubt that sarin gas was used one year ago. and then they started showing very doubtful video recordings as clear facts. we insisted that the inspectorate came to check the situation. we were told that the situation there, the security situation did not allow this and then it became clear that they received the information that they received the information that the americans received samples... the samples were studied in france. and there was no doubt that it was
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sarin. so we turned to france. and we ask them, how do they receive these samples to do research on them in france? they received the samples from those people who could operate in this area where we could not use those same people for the security to have inspectors, according to the old procedure, the neutral procedures, for all to receive the samples. so that we ourselves would analyse them. and our partners said that they could not give us any more information, they said that the fa cts information, they said that the facts were incontrovertible. we ask them to share their findings with us. them to share their findings with us. and they answered that it was a
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secret, they could not share it with us. secret, they could not share it with us. now i am talking about dumas. the same thing. there are incontrovertible facts, this is what they say. justifying the strikes which were carried out. and they say nothing else. president micron said there are incontrovertible facts that confirmed the use of chemical weapons in douma. by the assad regime. i think the day before yesterday. in a conversation with the president, our president putin, with president micron, about the existence of such facts, and asked him to share the sex with him.
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because russia would be the first country that would want to put a stop to this usage of chemical weapons and we received the same message that they could not share that with us. this is what president mark ronson. —— president macron said. this happened one day before the inspectors who arrived in syria, they were about to arrive at the place where they had to ascertain that there were chemical weapons or not. i day before they arrived at the place. —— a day. they were confirming to us their readiness to move to the area of douma, those inspectors who arrived, and we will speak about this a bit later. there
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episodes of which i spoke, which are one—year—old, and the current, there is one other common thing between them and that is the following... on them and that is the following... on the 4th of april last year, these helmets, they spread the information and rex tillerson said that the chemical weapons were delivered by aircraft, by means of a bomb. and we are asking you to ask the syrian government to allow inspectors, including british inspectors, to arrive at the spot to check it. russia received this agreement but before we managed to deliver it to before we managed to deliver it to be americans, they already had sent their rockets. that was a year ago.
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we a nswered their rockets. that was a year ago. we answered to him that our military experts on chemical and biological defence, they inspected the place very thoroughly. they did not find anything there. and he said, what about americans, going there? i said that was a good idea, let us agree on that. the next day, and president putin and president macron spoke about it, responding to the statement from his french colleague, but there is no doubt about chemical weapons there. our president suggested that he sent french specialists, our specialists and american specialists to study that place and we agreed on that. and we
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agreed that we will develop this idea. but when they agreed on this idea, no one from the french side came into contact with us to discuss it and then the strikes yesterday occurred. therefore, we are very particular, we are very particular, we are very careful with all of the fa cts we are very careful with all of the facts which we need to ascertain here. we would like to concentrate in this case and in other cases on fa cts . in this case and in other cases on facts. also, as far as the so—called affa i res of facts. also, as far as the so—called affaires of sergei skripal, british collea g u es affaires of sergei skripal, british colleagues refuse to answer tens of
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oui’ colleagues refuse to answer tens of our questions which we have asked in different periods of time, and... they responded, but you russians never answered any of the questions which were delivered to you. our a nswer which were delivered to you. our answer was that russia admitted... that russia admits that either the gas novichok was delivered to england by direct order of president putin or that the russian authorities did not have control over it. our questions were, it stated our questions... the conventions of the prohibition of chemical weapons states...
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i have received a note, the pentagon is justifying the strike in syria before they studied the suggestion. the syrian government was ready to assume these at the border without any questions, if these inspectors from the western countries arrived. —— ready to issue a visas. as to the affair of sergei skripal... the british invited weapons experts for the skripal affair and said they would deliver information about the work of this group. the report was
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first spread for a short summary. and then a complete report, a confidential version from the organisation for the prohibition of the then is to stop in this report, this organisation, for the prohibition of chemical weapons... that the chemical content, samples of which the british provided, the inspectorate to get with them and there was a long chemical formula given but not any name for any particular gas. and our specialists... they pointed to this formula, but this formula point site toa formula, but this formula point site to a substance which was developed in many countries. —— points out. it
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is not a particularly secret weapon. as my colleagues are saying here... they are saying, we have proof but we cannot share it. we also cannot receive confidential information. these are questions that has something to do directly with life and death. we know that the information from the swiss centre for radiological and bacteriological research, it received information confidentially and these experts from switzerland on the 27th of march completed their study of the samples, which the organisation for the prohibition of them were in is had sent to them. which was collected when it happened in syria.
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and in this time in switzerland, there are professionals who very much valued their professional reputation. they arrived at the following conclusion, and i will quote this, word forward... you understand that this will be through translation but i will be speaking in russian. this study... we discovered traces of toxic element bz, which was prohibited under the convention. this is a nerve paralytic gas which takes a person out of such functioning and hits a person within one hour. these recipes were available to the united
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states, kingdom, russia. russia did carry out the developing of such a chemical weapon, —— never did carry out. as far as the specialists are saying, they can state that a high concentration of this r34, if this was their in high concentration, this would cause death. but then they are saying that because this has not happened, there was a long period of time between the poisoning and the taking of probes and would
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have had an effect but those victims, but yulia skripal is out and the policeman and sergei skripal is going better. the clinical picture... it points more to the type of chemical element gas, bz. this bz has never been mentioned in the british... so we are appealing to the organisation for the prohibition of chemical weapons, why? because this information on chemical weapons, which reflected the decisions, the findings of specialists in switzerland, this information was completely ignored.
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if the organisation for the prohibition of chemical weapons is going to deny the very fact that the swiss laboratory was used, then we would be interested to hear what they have to say, and this is what i had to say. maybe we will also be able to discuss the questions of not passing the seriousness, which is a lwa ys passing the seriousness, which is always present, and not only the ones which are currently very important right now after what is happening... thank you. thanks for the press. all of those
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representatives of the media. we seem to have lost that transmission coming live from moscow. the first full response by the russian foreign minister, sergei lavrov, very much taking aim at what he described as the incontrovertible fa cts , he described as the incontrovertible facts, that was the word being used by the western powers. he said that after the fact to justify their strikes in syria. he accused them of failing to cooperate with the russians and the syrian government and the syrian government was ready to put visas at the border to allow
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a proper investigation to take place. not surprisingly, his comments are focused notjust on the overnight attacks by american, british and french aeroplanes but he also focused on the crisis between britain and russia regarding the poisoning of a former russian spy, mr skripal, and his daughter. he accused britain and other western powers of ignoring the evidence of the opcw. he was just about to take questions. very much expressing the anger of russia that the united states, britain and france were not cooperating and the proceeding, he felt, without sufficient evidence. we hope to return to moscow to continue that press briefing. let us remind you of the main developments in the past hour. there was also an extended briefing by the pentagon, their first detailed briefing since
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their first detailed briefing since the overnight operation. this is what the pentagon, the spokesperson, and the us joint what the pentagon, the spokesperson, and the usjoint chiefs of staff office, with general mackenzie. the three facilities are more appropriately, they were fundamental components of the regime's chemical weapons water infrastructure. the first slide... the research and develop and centre. the next slide... the chemical weapons storage facility. and lastly, the chemical weapons bunker facility. which is located seven kilometres from the previous site. their track aim to deliver a clear and ambiguous —— on ambiguous message to the syrian regime that the use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians is inexcusable and to deter any future use of chemical weapons. we selected his targets carefully to minimise risk to
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innocent civilians. bristol conducting a more detailed damage assessment but initial indications are that we accomplished or military objectives without material interference from syria. i would use three words to describe this operation. precise, overwhelming and effective. we can go back to the first slide, please. the first target, the ba rzah first slide, please. the first target, the barzah research and develop and centre, located in the greater damascus area, we employed 76 missiles, 57 were tomahawk land attack cruise missiles and i9 76 missiles, 57 were tomahawk land attack cruise missiles and 19 joint airto surface attack cruise missiles and 19 joint air to surface stand—off missiles. you can see from yourself, the initial target was destroyed and this will set the silicon chemical weapons project back for years. -- the syrian chemical weapons project. general mackenzie, the pentagon spokesperson. it isjoin barbara
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plett—usher. we are entering what has been a war of narratives between the pentagon and the russians over what actually happens on the ground. before we answer that question, let us before we answer that question, let us look at the latest developments with this report from paul adams... after a week of talking, one hour of bombing. from a french ship in the mediterranean, a salvo of cruise missiles, 12 in all. britain acting as well, tornados taking off from their base in cyprus, also loaded with missiles. a carefully coordinated operation led by the united states. a short time ago i ordered precision strikes on targets on targets
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associated with the dictator bashar al—assad. in the early hours of the morning, explosions near to the syrian capital damascus, one of three hit by america and her allies. this is not about intervening in a civil war. it is not about regime change. it is about a limited and targeted strike that does not further escalate tensions in the region, and that does everything possible to prevent civilian casualties. and while this action is specifically about deterring the syrian regime, it will also send a clear signal to anyone else who believes they can use chemical weapons with impunity. syria claims to have shot down more than a dozen missiles, but the attack involved over 100. we canjoin
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we can join barbara we canjoin barbara plett—usher, we had the accusation that we keep hearing from sergei lavrov, that the western powers were not operating on the basis of facts and they are basically coming up with their own evidence to justify their operations and yet we heard from the pentagon spokesperson saying that in the past 24 hours the russian disinformation, this will be another war of words in the days to come? yes, the rhetoric leading up to the strikes was pretty antagonistic and full of tension and there is going to be a similar war of words over whether or not they we re of words over whether or not they were justified and what the actual motivations were. the pentagon was
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asked, why not wait for international inspectors who were coming today? they were supposed to be on the ground. why wait, why not wait for that to happen? the answer was, we think the machine is going to curtail what they can do and we have intelligence and we're confident in our assessment and so on. those questions are out there but it is something the russians will i back —— capitalise on. in terms of disinformation, the americans have put out ahead of time, they expect the russians to have a disinformation campaign, 2000 times extra patrols in the past 24 hours, they said. -- trolls. thank you forjoining us from washington and will continue our special coverage of the operation against syria. from the team in beirut, it
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is goodbye and we can go back to the studio in london. some warmer weather to start the weekend before cloud and outbreaks of rain tomorrow. for the rest of the weekend, variable cloud and sunny spells, and are not expecting blue skies but the sunshine will help make things feel warmer than it has beenin make things feel warmer than it has been in recent days. borno super eight —— noticeably along the north seas, tebbit is back double figures after struggling in single figures for much of the week could be a shower in southern parts, especially the south—east into east anglia. overnight, increasing kleiber northern ireland and wales and the south—west and chilly for north—east scotland, temperatures holding up overnight and some fog patches in the east of england. tomorrow, cloud and outbreaks of rain spreading north eastwards, not amounting to much and northern scotland staying dry, but living in the south—west later but heavy showers coming our way and temperatures little bit
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lower tomorrow. this is bbc news. our latest headlines: britain, the us and france have bombed three sites in syria. more than a hundred missiles were fired in the joint action, targeting what they say are chemical weapons facilities. president trump says it was a ‘perfectly executed' strike, declaring ‘mission accomplished'. four british tornado jets were involved in the operation. theresa may said there was "no practicable alternative to the use of force". russia's foreign minister says the actions of western countries in syria are unacceptable and lawless. the raids sent a clear signal that the use of chemical weapons would not be tolerated.
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theresa may also said it had been "right and legal" to take action. but the labour leader, jeremy corbyn, has described the action as ‘legally questionable.‘ our political correspondent, vicki young, has been looking at the uk‘s reaction. getting the preparations right. british pilots ready themselves for action, heading into danger on the front line, following orders from politicians back home. under pressure to explain why she ordered air strikes, theresa may told journalists in downing street this was a limited use of force and there was no alternative path. there is no graver decision for a prime minister, than to commit our forces to combat. and this is the first time that i have had to do so. we must reinstate the global consensus that chemical weapons cannot be used. this action is absolutely in britain‘s national interest. the lesson of history is that when the global rules
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and standards that keep us safe come under threat, we must take a stand and defend them. and mrs may drew a clear link with the salisbury nerve agent attack, for which she holds russia responsible. so while this action is specifically about deterring the syrian regime, it will also send a clear signal to anyone else who believes they can use chemical weapons with impunity. jeremy corbyn says the prime minister was wrong not to consult parliament before the air strikes, which he suggests are illegal. she could have come to parliament on monday to discuss the whole situation. instead, they've launched these strikes. she claims there is a legal basis for it. i've asked her in a letter i sent this morning to publish in full the legal basis and justification for it. when cabinet ministers met on thursday to discuss taking action against the syrian regime, they were given legal advice, and the government is expected to publish a summary of that later.
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opposition parties have other questions for theresa may. it doesn‘t do anything to bring syria to a more peaceful resolution, and i‘m not convinced it does what it seeks to achieve, which is to undermine the syrian government‘s

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