Assad supporters rally in Damascus after Western strikes

US President Donald Trump makes a statement about Syria at the White House in Washington

US President Donald Trump makes a statement about Syria at the White House in Washington

But Syrian President Bashar Assad, whom the United Nations has linked to dozens of gas attacks, still maintains "residual" capabilities of creating and using chemical weapons, the Pentagon said. In its turn, the Syrian government has strongly denied being behind the alleged chemical attack and stated that the missile strike was "brutal aggression". The NATO alliance gave its full backing; NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the attack was about ensuring that chemical weapons can not be used with impunity. The Pentagon says no missiles were engaged.

Because the US did not commit ground troops to the conflict, the White House is treating Friday's strike as a separate conflict that starts the 60-day clock over. Kori Schake's on the line with us from London.

He took to Twitter on Saturday morning and wrote "Mission Accomplished" - adopting a phrase that haunted President George W. Bush during the Iraq war.

British Prime Minister Theresa May told restive lawmakers Monday that military airstrikes on Syria were right both legally and morally, and she accused Syria and its ally Russian Federation of attempting to cover up evidence of a deadly chemical weapons attack.

"The news flow is actually better than what it looked like at one point during last week as the strike was surgical, followed by a pullback".

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Saturday's airstrikes came shortly after a fact-finding mission from the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons arrived in Syria to investigate.

The inspectors will face a hard task, with all key players having pre-empted their findings, including Western powers, which justified the strikes by claiming they already had proof such weapons were used.

SCHAKE: That would do it.

US air strikes on Syria were in the "vital national security and foreign policy interests" of the United States and were meant to prevent future chemical weapons attacks by the Assad regime, President Trump told Congress on Sunday.

But to date, Russian Federation and Iran have backed Assad at every turn, and appear unlikely to abandon him now that he has weathered the storm of the past seven years. But it also shows Bashar al-Assad that there is a penalty in his ability to win the war every time he takes recourse to chemical weapons. While Ms Haley indicated that more sanctions against Moscow would be announced on Monday, Ms Sanders appeared to backtrack, saying: "We are considering additional sanctions on Russian Federation and a decision will be made in the near future".

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She told Sky News: "The United States, Britain and France - responsible allies - are showing Bashar al Assad that he has to stop".

In sum, this strike by Western militaries didn't change the dynamics of the civil war that is largely over.

In Istanbul, protesters outside the French Consulate demonstrated against the "imperialist aggression in Syria" while those in Baghdad carried Syrian flags as a show of unity as they burned United States flags. They have a strategy that's a very narrow military focus to the defeat of ISIS.

They are then likely to tackle the southern province of Daraa, where some of the earliest protests against the rule of Assad, in power for 18 years broke out in 2011. They're willing to watch the horrific humanitarian spectacle of the suffering of the Syrian people. The 105 weapons used against three facilities across Syria targeted only chemical weapons production in Syria, and they didn't even remove all of those weapons or capabilities. Gold, often used as a store of value in times of political and economic uncertainty, could rally towards US$1,400 per ounce after two consecutive weeks of gains. I think everyone is going to feel it at this point.

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