CHRONICLES OF OUR GENERATION

CHRONICLES OF OUR GENERATION

Friday, April 13, 2018



Trump launches airstrikes on Damascus in response to 'evil and despicable' chemical attack by 'monster' Assad and directly challenges Putin: 'What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?'


  • Donald Trump has announced he has ordered 'precision strikes' on Syria
  • Strikes are retaliation for the poison gas attack that killed 60 people on April 7
  • It is a 'combined operation' with France and the United Kingdom, president said
  • Explosions have lit up skies over Syrian capital, Damascus, according to reports
  • Syrian TV reports that Syrian air defenses have responded to the attack
  • Trump warned Russia and Iran about their association with Syrian government

Donald Trump said on Friday evening he had ordered 'precision strikes' on Syria in retaliation for the 'evil and despicable' poison gas attack that killed at least 60 people on April 7.
'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 dictator Bashar al-Assad,' Trump said in a televised address from the White House. 
'These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster instead,' Trump said referring to Assad and his role in the chemical weapons attacks.'
Syrian TV reports that Syrian air defenses have responded to the attack.
Donald Trump is pictured addressing the nation from the White House, announcing the retaliatory airstrikes on Syria
Donald Trump is pictured addressing the nation from the White House, announcing the retaliatory airstrikes on Syria
The poison gas attack killed at least 60 people on April 7 in Douma near Damascus
The poison gas attack killed at least 60 people on April 7 in Douma near Damascus
'The purpose of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons,' Trump said.    
Trump said a combined operation with France and Britain was under way and that they were prepared to sustain the response until Syria stopped its use of chemical weapons. 
But he said America does not seek 'an indefinite presence' in Syria and will look to pull out its troops once the Islamic State is totally defeated.
Trump said the three nations - the US, Britain and France - have 'marshaled their righteous power.'  
The Syrian capital was rocked by loud explosions that lit up the sky with heavy smoke as Trump announced the retaliation.
Associated Press reporters in Damascus saw smoke rising from east Damascus early Saturday morning local time. Syrian state TV says the attack has begun on the capital, though it wasn’t immediately clear what was targeted. 
'These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster instead,' Trump said referring to Assad (pictured)
'These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster instead,' Trump said referring to Assad (pictured)
Donald Trump said on Friday evening he had ordered 'precision strikes' on Syria in retaliation for the 'evil and despicable' poison gas attack that killed at least 60 people on April 7 (a young victim is pictured)
Donald Trump said on Friday evening he had ordered 'precision strikes' on Syria in retaliation for the 'evil and despicable' poison gas attack that killed at least 60 people on April 7 (a young victim is pictured)
A witness said the Barzah district of Damascus had been hit in the strikes. Barzah is the location of a major Syrian scientific research center.
Trump also warned Russia and Iran about their association with the Syrian government. 
He said: 'To Iran and to Russia, I ask: What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?'
Trump calls the two countries those 'most responsible for supporting, equipping and financing the criminal Assad regime.'
Trump says: 'The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep.'
He adds ominously: 'Hopefully someday we'll get along with Russia, and maybe even Iran, but maybe not.' 
Trump also warned Russia and Iran about their association with the Syrian government. President Putin is pictured on April 12
Trump also warned Russia and Iran about their association with the Syrian government. President Putin is pictured on April 12

PRESIDENT TRUMP'S FRIDAY NIGHT ADDRESS TO THE NATION 

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 dictator Bashar al-Assad. A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now underway. We thank them both. 
Tonight I want to speak with you about why we have taken this action. One year ago, Assad launched a savage chemical weapons attack against his own innocent people. The United States responded with 58 missile strikes that destroyed 20 percent of the Syrian air force.
Last Saturday, the Assad regime again deployed chemical weapons to slaughter innocent civilians, this time in the town of Douma near the Syrian capital of Damascus. 
This massacre was a it a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by the very terrible regime. the evil and despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children thrashing in pain and gasping for air. 
These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster, instead. 
Following the horrors of World War I a century ago, civilized nations joined together to ban chemical warfare. Chemical weapons are uniquely dangerous not only because they inflict gruesome suffering but because even small amounts can unleash widespread devastation.
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. The combined American, British and French response to these atrocities will integrate all instruments of our national power -- military, economic, and diplomatic. 
We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents. I also have a message tonight for two governments most responsible for supporting, equipping and financing the criminal Assad regime. 
To Iran and to Russia I ask, what kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children? The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep. No nation can succeed in the long run by promoting rogue states, brutal tyrants and murderous dictators. 
In 2013 President Putin and his government promised the world they would guarantee the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons. Assad's recent attack and today's response are the direct result of Russia's failure to keep that promise. Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path or if it will join with civilized nations as a force for stability and peace. 
Hopefully some day we'll get along with Russia and maybe even Uran, but maybe not. I will say this, the United States has a lot to offer with the greatest and most powerful economy in the history of the world. 
In Syria the United States with but a small force being used to eliminate what is left of ISIS is doing what is necessary to protect the American people. Over the last year, nearly 100 percent of the territory once controlled by the so-called ISIS caliphate in Syria and Iraq has been liberated and eliminated. 
The United States has also rebuilt our friendships across the Middle East. We have asked our partners to take greater responsibility for securing their home region, including contributing large amounts of money for the resources, equipment and all of the anti-ISIS effort. Increased engagement from our friends, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt and others can ensure that Iran does not profit from the eradication of ISIS.
America does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria. Under no circumstances. As other nations step up their contributions, we look forward to the day when we can bring our warriors home and great warriors they are. 
Looking around our very troubled world, Americans have no illusions. We cannot purge the world of evil or act everywhere there is tyranny. No amount of American blood or treasure can produce lasting peace and security in the Middle East. It's a troubled place. We will try to make it better, but it is a troubled place. The United States will be a partner and a friend, but the fate of the region lies in the hands of its own people. 
In the last century, we looked straight into the darkest places of the human soul. We saw the anguish that can be unleashed and the evil that can take hold. By the end of World War I, more than 1 million people had been killed or injured by chemical weapons. We never want to see that ghastly specter return. 
So today, the nations of Britain, France and the United States of America have marshalled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality. Tonight I ask all Americans to say a prayer for our noble warriors and our allies as they carry out their missions. 
We pray that God will bring comfort to those suffering in Syria. We pray that God there guide the whole region toward a future of dignity and of peace. And we pray that God will continue to watch over and bless the United States of America. Thank you, and good night. Thank you.The strikes had been expected since harrowing footage surfaced of the aftermath of the toxic gas attack in the Damascus suburb of Douma, which took place a week ago, and Trump reacted in an emotional tweet.
'Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria,' he declared.
'President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay.' 

'I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain’s national interest': Theresa May's statement in full 

Theresa May's statement in full 
Theresa May's statement in full 
'This evening I have authorised British armed forces to conduct co-ordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the Syrian Regime’s chemical weapons capability and deter their use.
'We are acting together with our American and French allies.
'In Douma, last Saturday a chemical weapons attack killed up to 75 people, including young children, in circumstances of pure horror.
'The fact of this attack should surprise no-one.
'The Syrian Regime has a history of using chemical weapons against its own people in the most cruel and abhorrent way.
'And a significant body of information including intelligence indicates the Syrian Regime is responsible for this latest attack.
'This persistent pattern of behaviour must be stopped – not just to protect innocent people in Syria from the horrific deaths and casualties caused by chemical weapons but also because we cannot allow the erosion of the international norm that prevents the use of these weapons.
'We have sought to use every possible diplomatic channel to achieve this.
'But our efforts have been repeatedly thwarted. Even this week the Russians vetoed a Resolution at the UN Security Council which would have established an independent investigation into the Douma attack.
'So there is no practicable alternative to the use of force to degrade and deter the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Regime.
'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.
'At this time, my thoughts are with our brave British servicemen and women – and our French and American partners – who are carrying out their duty with the greatest professionalism.
'The speed with which we are acting is essential in co-operating with our partners to alleviate further humanitarian suffering and to maintain the vital security of our operations.
'This is the first time as Prime Minister that I have had to take the decision to commit our armed forces in combat – and it is not a decision I have taken lightly.
'I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain’s national interest.
'We cannot allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised – within Syria, on the streets of the UK, or anywhere else in our world.
'We would have preferred an alternative path. But on this occasion there is none.
'History teaches us that the international community must defend the global rules and standards that keep us all safe.
'That is what our country has always done. And what we will continue to do. '



Thursday, April 12, 2018





Russian ships set sail from Syrian HQ ahead of US airstrikes: Satellite images show 11 vessels have deserted Tartus port - but are they fleeing or preparing to shoot down missiles?


  • Satellite images show Russian ships stationed at the Tartus base on Syrian coast
  • Picture of the same port on Wednesday show all but one of the vessels has gone
  • Images came as Donald Trump warned Russia to 'get ready' for strikes on Syria
  • Trump and his Western allies considering action over Assad's latest gas attack
  •  
Satellite pictures have emerged showing how Russian warships appear to have deserted a key naval base in Syria amid fears over possible US airstrikes.
Overhead Images show how at least 11 navy vessels, including the frigate Admiral Grigorovich, appear to have left the Tartus military port on the Syrian coast.
A picture, said to have been taken on Wednesday, shows how only a kilo-class submarine remains in the port, which is understood to be protected by Moscow's fearsome S-300 and S-400 missile defence systems.
It comes after Donald Trump told Russia to 'get ready' for missile strikes in Syria with the Kremlin having threatened to shoot down any rockets - and anything that launched them. Trump and his Western allies are considering action after a horrifying chemical attack on a Syrian rebel-held town killed at least 40.
The exact reason for the ships' movements is not yet clear, but some have speculated that the vessels are simply on a training exercise or that they may have been deployed in readiness to intercept missiles. 
Satellite pictures have emerged showing how Russian warships appear to have deserted one of its key naval bases in Syria amid fears of a US airstrike. This image shows some of the vessels recently seen at the base
Satellite pictures have emerged showing how Russian warships appear to have deserted one of its key naval bases in Syria amid fears of a US airstrike. This image shows some of the vessels recently seen at the base
Overhead Images show how at least 11 navy vessels, including the frigate Admiral Grigorovich, have left the Tartus military base on the Syrian coast. This picture, apparently taken on Wednesday, shows how only a kilo-class submarine remains in the port, which is understood to be protected by Moscow's fearsome S-300 and S-400 missile defence systems
Overhead Images show how at least 11 navy vessels, including the frigate Admiral Grigorovich, have left the Tartus military base on the Syrian coast. This picture, apparently taken on Wednesday, shows how only a kilo-class submarine remains in the port, which is understood to be protected by Moscow's fearsome S-300 and S-400 missile defence systems
It is not clear when the first of the images - produced by satellite imaging and intelligence firm ISI - was captured, but it is thought to have been taken before the poison gas attack on rebel-held Douma on Saturday.
Moscow was in direct contact with the US joint chiefs of staff about the situation in Syria, Vladimir Shamanov, head of the lower house of parliament's defence committee, said last night.
Yevgeny Serebrennikov, the first deputy chairman of the Russian upper house's defence committee, told Russian media that the Kremlin's troops in Syria were being protected.
He said: 'The Russian military bases in Hmeymim and Tartus are under firm protection.
'At the same time, we expect that in the event of US strikes, if any, the lives of our servicemen will not be in danger.
The base is believed to be protected by a ring of steel of Russia's fearsome S-300 and S-400 missile defence systems (file picture)
The base is believed to be protected by a ring of steel of Russia's fearsome S-300 and S-400 missile defence systems (file picture)

THE RUSSIAN S-400 ANTI AIRCRAFT MISSILE: ITS VITAL STATISTICS 

Cost: $400m per launcher group (Eight launchers, 112 missiles, and a command unit)
Missile Range: 248 miles
Missile Speed: 11,000mph
Simultaneously tracking: 80 targets'I think that the United States understands this and will not allow it, because otherwise, Russia's response will be immediate.' 
As the threat of Western military action against the Syrian regime looms, Russia has already deployed thousands of troops in the war-torn country to back President Bashar al-Assad.
President Vladimir Putin first launched a military intervention in Syria in 2015, turning the tables in the multi-front civil war in favour of ally Assad.
The regime and its Iranian and Russian allies increasingly appear to be on the path to victory in Syria's brutal seven-year civil war, while the West has been reluctant to engage militarily. 
The precise number of Russian troops fighting in Syria is not known. Putin said in December that some 48,000 Russian servicemen have taken part in the campaign.
He has ruled out dispatching ground troops in Syria, making the air force the mainstay of Moscow's Syria campaign.
Officials have acknowledged the presence of Russian advisors and military police in Syria, however.
Independent Russian military expert Pavel Felgenhauer estimated late last year that 'up to a thousand' military police and special forces are fighting alongside regime troops.
In March, the defence ministry said a total of 2,954 Russian troops in Syria had voted in presidential polls, giving an idea of current numbers.
In December Putin made a surprise visit to Russia's Hmeimim airbase in Latakia, Syria where he ordered a partial pullout of the country's troops, saying their task had been largely completed.
Russia said the airbase, set up in 2015, would remain in operation permanently, while its naval facility in the Syrian port of Tartus would be expanded.
Three battalions of military police and officers of the Russian Centre for Reconciliation would remain in Syria, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said.
Putin first said in March 2016 that the country's military campaign in Syria was coming to an end. Today few believe Russia is leaving the war-torn country any time soon. 
The U.S. has maintained its threat of rocket attacks in response to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's sickening chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Douma on Saturday
The U.S. has maintained its threat of rocket attacks in response to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's sickening chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Douma on Saturday
Officials and observers also point out the presence of a 'shadow army' of Russian mercenaries in Syria, including those working for a private military company called Wagner.
Military expert Felgenhauer last year estimated the number of mercenaries at 2,000 to 3,000.
Moscow in March acknowledged five Russian nationals were killed and 'dozens' wounded in US strikes on an area where no official troops were present, saying they all were in Syria 'on their own initiative.'
Various media reports in Russia and the United States said Wagner was being funded by one of Putin's allies Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Saint Petersburg businessman who previously carried out catering contracts for Russia's military and the Kremlin.
He has been charged by a US court and hit by Washington sanctions over setting up an internet 'troll factory' that is accused of attempting to influence the 2016 presidential election in favour of Donald Trump. He has denied involvement. 
Russia has officially acknowledged 84 military losses in the Syrian war, including 39 killed in a plane crash at Hmeimim in March that was not caused by military action. 
Russia rules the skies in Syria and the role of its air force there has been celebrated at home.

Five hundred people poisoned in Syrian gas attack, WHO reveals

Up to 500 people were poisoned in the Syrian gas outrage that killed 43 people including children, the World Health Organisation has revealed.
WHO demanded 'immediate' access to the victims in rebel-held Douma as it revealed the total number of people who reported to hospital showing 'signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals'.
The atrocity, blamed on Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad's forces, has sparked a global outcry with the US and its allies considering taking military action in response. 
Volunteers give aid to children at a hospital following the chemical attack in Douma
Volunteers give aid to children at a hospital following the chemical attack in Douma
While the WHO statement did not confirm outright that a chemical weapons attack had taken place, it said more than 70 people sheltering in basements have died with 43 of those deaths related to symptoms consistent with exposure to highly toxic chemicals.
'We should all be outraged at these horrific reports and images from Douma' where Saturday's attack took place, said Peter Salama, the UN agency's chief of emergency response.
'WHO demands immediate unhindered access to the area to provide care to those affected, to assess the health impacts, and to deliver a comprehensive public health response,' he added.
Citing information previously released by local health organizations, WHO said that 'an estimated 500 patients presented to health facilities exhibiting signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals'.
Up to 500 people were poisoned in the Syrian gas attack that killed 43 people including children, the World Health Organisation has revealed
Up to 500 people were poisoned in the Syrian gas attack that killed 43 people including children, the World Health Organisation has revealed
'There were signs of severe irritation of mucous membranes, respiratory failure and disruption to central nervous systems of those exposed,' the statement added.
The United States, Britain and France have argued the incident bears all the hallmarks of a strike ordered by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Assad has been blamed for previous attacks by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and UN-backed war crimes investigators.
WHO has delivered medicine capable of treating certain types of chemical agents to clinics through a series of humanitarian convoys deployed across the country in recent years.
UN officials have also accused Assad's troops of at times removing those treatments from humanitarian vehicles.  Bomber planes such as the Tu-22 and Tu-160 have also flown from Russia to hit targets in Syria. 
Russian warships and submarines have also played a prominent role backing up the bombing campaign in Syria, firing missiles at Islamic State group targets from the Mediterranean.
The Hmeimim airbase on the western coast and the naval facility in Tartus have been protected by S-300 and S-400 air missile defence systems.
Russian ships, such as Moscow's only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, have also completed missions in Syria. The Kuznetsov is now out of action for repairs set to last 2 to 3 years.
Russian ships are passing back and forth through the Bosphorus every couple of days.
The Russian defence ministry has previously said it will fire at any US craft that strikes government areas of Damascus, where Russian officials are also bas