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GCC supports strikes against Syrian regime

Sun, Apr. 15, 2018
CAIRO – 15 April 2018: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) supported on Saturday the U.S.-led air strikes against military targets belonging to the Syrian regime in the capital city of Damascus.

GCC Secretary General Abdel Latif Bin Rashid asserted the necessity of ending the Syrian people’s suffering after years of the civil war ravaging the troubled country.

The GCC secretary general urged the United Nations to enhance the political process that would resolve the crisis in Syria as soon as possible.

United States, France and the United Kingdom launched military strikes in the early hours of Saturday morning against targets in both the cities of Homs and Damascus.

A research center that is alleged to be a chemical weapons factory was targeted in Damascus, along with two sites near the city of Homs, which are supposedly storage facilities for chemical weapons.

The Pentagon stated that a B-1 bomber aircraft and three American navy warships on the Red Sea participated in the strikes.

The U.S., along with other members of the Security Council, previously accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of using chemical weapons during an attack against Syrian armed militias in the Damascus enclave of Douma on April 7.

The attacks caused fierce controversy internationally, as several states – on top of them Russia – objected against the attacks, refuting accusations that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons against armed militias.

The strikes significantly crippled Assad's ability to produce chemical weapons, officials told reporters at a briefing, and the Pentagon was not aware of any civilian casualties resulting from the strikes.

Lieutenant General Kenneth F. McKenzie said the strikes were precise, overwhelming and effective.

Though some of Syria's chemical weapons infrastructure was still left, "I think we've dealt them a severe blow," McKenzie said, adding it would set the program back for years.

Despite severely damaging the infrastructure with the strikes, McKenzie said the Pentagon would not rule out that the Assad government still had capability to use such weapons again.

"I would say there's still a residual element of the Syrian program that's out there," he said. "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."
 
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