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Royal Navy submarine hunted by Russia in 'cat-and-mouse' pursuit

  • Russian Kilo-class submarines chased British Astute-class vessels backed up by two frigates and an aircraft 
  • They hunted the UK vessel as it carried Tomahawk missiles with a range of up to 1,000 miles close to Syria
  • Britain joined the U.S. and France in airstrikes against the Assad regime and its chemical weapons facilities
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin warned of 'consequences' and said said there was no evidence of the attack
  • President Donald Trump has vowed to carry out further strikes if Assad crosses the chemical 'red line' again
  • Assad met Russian politicians today and told them the West was spreading 'lies and misinformation' at the UN 
  • Theresa May has faced criticism for authorising the military action without a vote in the House of Commons
  • Boris Johnson defended the PM but said the UK would take 'precautions' amid fears of Russian cyber-attacks
  • Labour's Jeremy Corbyn questioned their legality and demanded a 'war powers' law to give Parliament a say

By Jessica Finn and Jennifer Smith For Dailymail.com and James Tapsfield, Political Editor For Mailonline and Tim Stickings For Mailonline

Published: 08:23 EDT, 15 April 2018 | Updated: 20:19 EDT, 15 April 2018

A Royal Navy submarine was hunted by Russian warships in a 'cat and mouse' pursuit under the eastern Mediterranean shortly before the UK took part in airstrikes against the Assad regime in Syria, it has emerged.

Russian hunter-killer submarines, nicknamed 'Black Hole' because of their stealth, chased the British Astute-class submarines over several days, supported by two frigates and an anti-submarine aircraft, according to a military source.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said today that the UK would have to take 'precautions' against Russian cyber-attacks, after Russian President Vladimir Putin warned of 'consequences' following the airstrikes by the UK, US and France in which suspected chemical weapons sites in Syria were reduced to rubble. 

The Russian Kilo-class submarines tracked the British crew as the UK vessel, carrying Tomahawk missiles with a range of up to 1,000 miles, moved within firing distance of Syria, The Sunday Times reports. 

A Royal Navy submarine has been hunted by Russian warships in a 'cat and mouse' pursuit under the Mediterranean. Pictured: HMS Astute, one of Britain's Astute-class submarines, sailing up Gareloch on the Firth of Clyde to her base at Faslane
A Royal Navy submarine has been hunted by Russian warships in a 'cat and mouse' pursuit under the Mediterranean. Pictured: HMS Astute, one of Britain's Astute-class submarines, sailing up Gareloch on the Firth of Clyde to her base at Faslane

A Royal Navy submarine has been hunted by Russian warships in a 'cat and mouse' pursuit under the Mediterranean. Pictured: HMS Astute, one of Britain's Astute-class submarines, sailing up Gareloch on the Firth of Clyde to her base at Faslane

No British submarines were in fact used in the strikes, though the British boat would have been carrying up to 20 Tomahawk cruise missiles. The US Navy was also flying patrol aircraft over the area to track Russian boats and protect its ally Britain
No British submarines were in fact used in the strikes, though the British boat would have been carrying up to 20 Tomahawk cruise missiles. The US Navy was also flying patrol aircraft over the area to track Russian boats and protect its ally Britain

No British submarines were in fact used in the strikes, though the British boat would have been carrying up to 20 Tomahawk cruise missiles. The US Navy was also flying patrol aircraft over the area to track Russian boats and protect its ally Britain

No missiles were in fact fired from British submarines during the strikes, although though the British boat would have been carrying up to 20 Tomahawk cruise missiles. The US Navy was also flying patrol aircraft over the area to track Russian boats and protect its allied submarines, it is reported.

Britain's nuclear-powered Astute submarines cost around £1.2billion each and have been commissioned since 2010, while the Russian Kilo-class submarines are powered by diesel generators and can reach a top speed of 20 knots. 

Nick Childs of the International Institute for Strategic Studies said submarine commanders were trained not to fire too many missiles at once as they would give away their position. 

It comes after new satellite imagery revealed extensive damage to targets hit by the airstrikes in Syria, where three sites were destroyed as Donald Trump, Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron responded to a chemical attack by the Assad regime which killed 75 people. 

Trump has vowed to carry out further airstrikes on Syria if the regime dares to use chemical weapons again, while UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson defended Britain's decision to stand up to 'barbarism' amid criticism of Mrs May for acting without a vote in the House of Commons.

America's UN ambassador Nikki Haley said today the U.S. will be imposing more economic sanctions on Russia for its support of Assad, saying they will affect companies that are 'dealing with equipment related to Assad and any chemical weapons use'.

Assad continues to deny using chemical weapons, telling visiting Russian politicians today that Western air strikes against his country were accompanied by a campaign of 'lies' and misinformation at the UN.  

Putin told Iranian President Hassan Rouhani today that more airstrikes would be in violation of the United Nations Charter and 'would inevitably provoke chaos in international relations', according to the Kremlin.  

Images taken on Saturday show extensive missile damage to the facilities believed to be involved with Syria's chemical weapons program, with two facilities decimated in Homs and the Bazrah Research Center, a scientific research center on the outskirts of Damascus, also hit by a barrage of missiles.

Russian hunter-killer submarines chased the British Astute-class submarines over several days, supported by two frigates and an anti-submarine aircraft, according to a military source. Pictured: A file photo of a Russian submarine
Russian hunter-killer submarines chased the British Astute-class submarines over several days, supported by two frigates and an anti-submarine aircraft, according to a military source. Pictured: A file photo of a Russian submarine

Russian hunter-killer submarines chased the British Astute-class submarines over several days, supported by two frigates and an anti-submarine aircraft, according to a military source. Pictured: A file photo of a Russian submrine

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad receives a delegation from Russia's ruling United Russia political party in Damascus today, telling them that Western airstrikes against his country were accompanied by a campaign of "lies" and misinformation
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad receives a delegation from Russia's ruling United Russia political party in Damascus today, telling them that Western airstrikes against his country were accompanied by a campaign of "lies" and misinformation

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad receives a delegation from Russia's ruling United Russia political party in Damascus today, telling them that Western airstrikes against his country were accompanied by a campaign of 'lies' and misinformation

Assad and Russia deny using chemical weapons, as the Syrian President told his visitors today (pictured) that U.S., Britain and France, which carried out the strikes, had waged a campaign of 'lies and misinformation' against Russia and Syria
Assad and Russia deny using chemical weapons, as the Syrian President told his visitors today (pictured) that U.S., Britain and France, which carried out the strikes, had waged a campaign of 'lies and misinformation' against Russia and Syria

Assad and Russia deny using chemical weapons, as the Syrian President told his visitors today (pictured) that U.S., Britain and France, which carried out the strikes, had waged a campaign of 'lies and misinformation' against Russia and Syria

Britain's Astute-class submarines compared to the Russian 'Black Hole' Kilo-class vessels that hunted them

KILO CLASS-SUBMARINE

Weight: Surfaced - 2,300–2,350 tonnes; submerged: 3,000-3,950 tonnes

Length: 229ft – 242ft 

Width: 32 ft

Draught: 21 ft 

Propulsion: two 1,300shp diesel generators; one 5,500–6,800 shp propulsion motor; one fixed-pitch six or seven bladed propeller

Speed:20 knots

Armament: six 21in torpedo tubes; 18 torpedoes; Kalibr / Club land-attack cruise missile, anti-ship missile and anti-submarine missile; 24 mines; eight 9K34 Strela-3 or eight 9K310 Igla-1 surface-to-air missiles 

ASTUTE-CLASS SUBMARINE 

Weight: Surfaced - 7,000 to 7,400 tonnes; submerged: 7,400 to 7,800 tons

Length: 318ft

Width: 37ft

Draught: 33ft

Propulsion: Rolls-Royce PWR 2 reactor, MTU 600 kilowatt diesel generatorsSpeed: 32mph

Speed: 30 knots

 Armament: 6 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes with stowage for up to 38 weapons

Seven boats planned in total, of which three (Astute, Ambush and Artful) have already been commissioned

Warning of 'consequences', Putin described the airstrikes as 'act of aggression' that would 'worsen the humanitarian catastrophe' in Syria and have a 'destructive influence on the entire system of international relations'.

Boris Johnson said failure to respond to Assad's use of illegal chemical weapons against his own people would have undermined 'civilised values'.

He said 'so far, thank heavens, the Assad regime has not been so foolish to launch another chemical weapons attack,' adding that Britain and its allies 'would study what the options were' in the event of another attack.

But amid fears of revenge attacks by Russia and criticism of Theresa May for acting without a Commons vote, Mr Johnson stressed there was no intention of getting more deeply involved in the Syrian civil war.

Concerns have been raised that a cyber backlash could see vital services including water supplies, gas networks, banks, hospitals and air traffic control affected.

Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr show today, Mr Johnson said: 'You have to take every possible precaution, and when you look at what Russia has done, not just in this country, in Salisbury, attacks on TV stations, on the democratic processes, on critical national infrastructure – of course we have to be very, very cautious indeed.' 

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn branded the UK's air strikes 'legally questionable', forcing the Government to publish detailed legal advice justifying the bombings. Today Mr Corbyn demanded a 'war powers' law to ban the Prime Minister from taking military action without a Commons vote. 

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One of two targets hit at the Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons Storage site was the storage site (pictured) which was hit at the same time by 22 missiles. The astonishing images show what appears to be the main buildings reduced to rubble

The official legal advice claimed 'the UK is permitted under international law, on an exceptional basis, to take measures in order to alleviate overwhelming humanitarian suffering'. Mrs May will face MPs tomorrow. 

Asked if there were any circumstances in which he would back air strikes in Syria, Mr Corbyn replied: 'I can only countenance involvement in Syria if there is a UN authority behind it.

'If we could get to a process in the UN where you get to a ceasefire, you get to a political solution, you then may well get to a situation where there could be a UN force established to enforce that ceasefire. 'That surely would save a lot of lives,' he told the Andrew Marr Show. 

Meanwhile protests broke out today at the entrance gate of a British air base in Cyprus to denounce US-led airstrikes against the Assad regime in Syria. 

Around 350 demonstrators, from communist organisations in Greece and Cyprus, gathered in front of RAF Akrotiri where four Tornado warplanes took off to take part in the missile strike. Protest leader Akis Poullos said they were demanding the closure of RAF Akrotiri, with signs condemning the 'NATO killers' after the attack.  

Putin criticised Washington and its allies for attacking without waiting for inspectors from the international chemical weapons watchdog group to visit Douma, just outside Damascus, saying Russian military experts had found no trace of the attack. 

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The second site outside of Homs was the Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons  Bunker. It was the smallest and was wiped out by seven missiles

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Barzah Research Facility in northern Damascus was the main target of the attack. A total of 76 missiles pummeled this site alone. Smoke still lingered well after the attack that happened in the early morning darkness of 4am

A Russian motion in the UN Security Council to condemn the airstrikes was rejected with only China and Bolivia joining Russia to vote in favour, as U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley promised the country was ready for another strike if Assad crossed the chemical weapons 'red line' in the future.

Moscow's ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, said: 'A pre-designed scenario is being implemented. Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences. All responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris.' 

Scores of fast jets, fighters and destroyers fired more than 100 missiles at three military targets in Syria on Friday night in retaliation for President Assad's chemical weapons attack on the rebel enclave of Douma on April 7.

Some 75 people, including children, are said to have died when the Syrian regime used chlorine gas and another nerve agent in Douma last Saturday.

Aid workers told how chlorine could be smelled in the air and victims were found with foam in their mouth and with burning eyes.

Pope Francis told the faithful in St. Peter's Square that he is `'deeply disturbed' by the international community's failure to come up with a common response to the crisis in Syria and other parts of the world.

'Despite the tools available to the international community, it is difficult to agree on a common action toward peace in Syria or other regions of the world,' the Pope told a crowd of 30,000 after his traditional Sunday blessing. 

Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr show today, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the strikes were merely aimed at deterring the use of chemical weapons 
Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr show today, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the strikes were merely aimed at deterring the use of chemical weapons 

Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr show today, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the strikes were merely aimed at deterring the use of chemical weapons 

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn branded the UK's air strikes 'legally questionable', forcing the Government to publish detailed legal advice justifying the bombings. Today on the Andrew Marr show (pictured) he called for a 'war powers' law
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn branded the UK's air strikes 'legally questionable', forcing the Government to publish detailed legal advice justifying the bombings. Today on the Andrew Marr show (pictured) he called for a 'war powers' law

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn branded the UK's air strikes 'legally questionable', forcing the Government to publish detailed legal advice justifying the bombings. Today on the Andrew Marr show (pictured) he called for a 'war powers' law

The Pentagon shared details early on Saturday of the successful, coordinated missile attack on Damascus which set the Syrian regime's chemical weapons program back 'years'. 

At a press conference in Washington DC on Saturday morning, Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie gave a detailed break-down of the 105 missiles launched, saying: 'This is going to set the program back for years. We attacked the heart of the Syrian chemical weapons program.'

He also rejected the Syrian media's claim that Assad's missile defense systems took down 71 of the missiles launched, revealing that none were compromised and that they were only fired once the coordinated attack was over. Russia also claimed missiles had been intercepted. 

The first and largest target in the airstrikes was the Barzah Research and Development Center which was considered to be the 'heart' of the regime's chemical weapons program. 

The second target was the Hinshar Chemical Weapons Storage Facility. It was destroyed by  22 weapons including Scalp and Storm Shadows and three Naval cruise missiles.  The third target, the Hinshar CW Bunker, was hit by seven Scalp missiles.

Three civilians were injured but there have been no confirmed fatalities.  On Saturday, the General said that if any deaths are reported they may well have been the result of Assad's counter fire. 

'Syria shot 40 large missiles into the air using ballistic trajectory, without guidance. When we shoot iron into the air without guidance, it's going to come down somewhere,' he said. 

All of the US aircraft returned safely to base after the attack. Gen. McKenzie did not say where the Lancer B-1 Bombers had flown from but other officials suggested they were deployed from an airbase in Qatar. 

A Syrian soldier films the damage at the site of the Barzah Scientific Research Center in Damascus on Saturday morning after it was annihilated by 76 missiles
A Syrian soldier films the damage at the site of the Barzah Scientific Research Center in Damascus on Saturday morning after it was annihilated by 76 missiles

A Syrian soldier films the damage at the site of the Barzah Scientific Research Center in Damascus on Saturday morning after it was annihilated by 76 missiles

Smoke was still billowing from the site on Saturday morning, hours after the 4am air and sea missile attack 
Smoke was still billowing from the site on Saturday morning, hours after the 4am air and sea missile attack 

Smoke was still billowing from the site on Saturday morning, hours after the 4am air and sea missile attack 

Soldiers were putting out the flames and smoke on Saturday morning as US officials celebrated the attack and said 'mission accomplished' 
Soldiers were putting out the flames and smoke on Saturday morning as US officials celebrated the attack and said 'mission accomplished' 

Soldiers were putting out the flames and smoke on Saturday morning as US officials celebrated the attack and said 'mission accomplished' 

'We met our objective. We hit our target. It was mission accomplished,' a Pentagon spokesperson said on Saturday, repeating President Trump's tweet earlier in the day.

Hours after Trump hailed the missile strike targeting the Syria's suspected chemical weapons - tweeting, 'Mission Accomplished!' - Vice President Mike Pence defended the president while building support among U.S. allies for the joint strikes with Britain and France on Saturday.

'The objective of the mission the commander in chief gave our military forces and our allies was completely accomplished - with swift professionalism,' Pence told reporters, noting there were 'no reported civilian casualties.'

He also had a warning for Russia: 'Our message to Russia is, 'you're on the wrong side of history,' ' Pence also said. 'It's time for Russia to get the message President Trump delivered last night. 'You're known by the company you keep.'

Russia has military forces, including air defences, in several areas of Syria to support President Assad in his long war against anti-government rebels.

Confusion arose over the extent to which Washington warned Moscow in advance. The Pentagon said it gave no explicit warning. The U.S. ambassador in Moscow, John Huntsman, said in a video, 'Before we took action, the United States communicated with' Russia to 'reduce the danger of any Russian or civilian casualties.'

A Pentagon spokeswoman said that to her knowledge no-one communicated with Moscow other than to use a military-to-military hotline that has routinely helped minimise the risk of U.S.-Russian collisions or confrontations in Syrian airspace. Officials said this did not include giving Russian advance notice of where or when allied airstrikes would happen.

France has continued to talk regularly with Russia even as East-West tensions have grown. French President Emmanuel Macron spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, hours before the Western missile strikes. 

Satellite images show the Barzah Research Center, the main target, before and after the missile attack which took place at 4am local time on Saturday, 9pm EST on Friday. 76 missiles pummeled this site alone
Satellite images show the Barzah Research Center, the main target, before and after the missile attack which took place at 4am local time on Saturday, 9pm EST on Friday. 76 missiles pummeled this site alone

Satellite images show the Barzah Research Center, the main target, before and after the missile attack which took place at 4am local time on Saturday, 9pm EST on Friday. 76 missiles pummeled this site alone

The second target was the Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons Storage site which was hit at the same time by 22 missiles
The second target was the Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons Storage site which was hit at the same time by 22 missiles

The second target was the Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons Storage site which was hit at the same time by 22 missiles

The third target, Him Shinshar CW Bunker, was the smallest and was wiped out by seven missiles 
The third target, Him Shinshar CW Bunker, was the smallest and was wiped out by seven missiles 

The third target, Him Shinshar CW Bunker, was the smallest and was wiped out by seven missiles 

This graphic issued by the Pentagon on Saturday illustrates how the attacks unfolded from air and sea. It does not represent exactly the number of ships or planes deployed by each country. The US used three destroyers and a submarine along with two B-1 Lancer bombers. France used at least two aircraft and four ships and the UK used four aircraft 
This graphic issued by the Pentagon on Saturday illustrates how the attacks unfolded from air and sea. It does not represent exactly the number of ships or planes deployed by each country. The US used three destroyers and a submarine along with two B-1 Lancer bombers. France used at least two aircraft and four ships and the UK used four aircraft 

This graphic issued by the Pentagon on Saturday illustrates how the attacks unfolded from air and sea. It does not represent exactly the number of ships or planes deployed by each country. The US used three destroyers and a submarine along with two B-1 Lancer bombers. France used at least two aircraft and four ships and the UK used four aircraft 

A map shows the location of the three targets. The Barzah Research Center was nearer the capital and the two storage facilities were to the north 
A map shows the location of the three targets. The Barzah Research Center was nearer the capital and the two storage facilities were to the north 

A map shows the location of the three targets. The Barzah Research Center was nearer the capital and the two storage facilities were to the north 

Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Dana White (left) and Joint Staff director Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie gave a briefing on the strike on Saturday and said it 'crippled' Assad's chemical weapon arsenal 
Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Dana White (left) and Joint Staff director Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie gave a briefing on the strike on Saturday and said it 'crippled' Assad's chemical weapon arsenal 

Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Dana White (left) and Joint Staff director Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie gave a briefing on the strike on Saturday and said it 'crippled' Assad's chemical weapon arsenal 

Between the jets and warships, 76 missiles annihilated the Barzah research center. Fifty-seven of those were Tomahawk missiles and 19 were Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles.

The Tomahawks were mostly fired from the USS Monterey, a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser and the USS Higgins, USS Laboon and the USS John Warner submarine. 

France deployed its Mirage and Dassault Rafale jets and reportedly used four frigate warships. It is not clear how many aircraft were deployed. Britain is believed only to have fired missiles from its Torpedoes and Typhoon aircraft. 

Other ships from each nation's military were in the region, including the USS Donald Cook, but did not fire any weapons. Despite the attack, Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said the US was still committed to a peaceful and diplomatic resolution to the ongoing civil war in Syria.

'Our goal has not changed. Our goal in Syria is to defeat ISIS....but Assad's actions were beyond the pale. We do not seek conflict in Syria but we cannot allow such grievous violations of international law,' she said. 

'We will not stand by passively while Assad, backed by Russia and Iran, ignores international law.'

Iran condemned the Western strikes on Syria, saying no country has a right to take punitive measures against another 'beyond international procedures.'

The semi-official Fars news agency quoted Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying that Iran had warned about the possibility that 'terrorist groups' were behind the alleged chemical attack that triggered the strikes. It said he communicated his concerns in a phone call with Boris Johnson on Sunday.

Trump vows to sanction MORE airstrikes against Syria if Assad dares to use chemical weapons again, as Nikki Haley tells UN Security Council members they have FAILED miserably to tackle his evil regime

President Trump has vowed to carry out further airstrikes on Syria if the regime dares to use chemical weapons again, as Nikki Haley lashed out at Russia during a fiery meeting of the UN Security Council.

Scores of fast jets, fighters and destroyers fired more than 100 missiles at three military targets in Syria on Friday night in retaliation for President Assad's chemical weapons attack on the rebel enclave of Douma on April 7.

While President Trump greeted the end of the attacks with a tweet saying 'mission accomplished', Ambassador Haley promised the US was ready for another strike if Assad crossed the chemical weapons 'red line' in the future.

'The time for talk ended last night,' Haley told an emergency meeting of the Security Council called by Russia. 'We are prepared to sustain this pressure, if the Syrian regime is foolish enough to test our will.

Nikki Haley (pictured) lashed out at Russia during a fiery meeting of the UN Security Council, saying US was ready for another strike if Assad crossed the chemical weapons 'red line' again
Nikki Haley (pictured) lashed out at Russia during a fiery meeting of the UN Security Council, saying US was ready for another strike if Assad crossed the chemical weapons 'red line' again

Nikki Haley (pictured) lashed out at Russia during a fiery meeting of the UN Security Council, saying US was ready for another strike if Assad crossed the chemical weapons 'red line' again

President Trump (pictured addressing the nation on the airstrikes on Friday) has vowed to carry out further airstrikes on Syria if the regime dares to use chemical weapons again
President Trump (pictured addressing the nation on the airstrikes on Friday) has vowed to carry out further airstrikes on Syria if the regime dares to use chemical weapons again

President Trump (pictured addressing the nation on the airstrikes on Friday) has vowed to carry out further airstrikes on Syria if the regime dares to use chemical weapons again

'I spoke to President Trump this morning and he said if the Syrian regime uses this poisonous gas again, the United States is locked and loaded.'

She also accused the Russians of covering up crimes committed by its ally, Assad, who she said had used chemical weapons 50 times in the past seven years of warfare.

President Trump said Saturday in his first comments since the air raid: 'Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!'

'So proud of our great Military which will soon be, after the spending of billions of fully approved dollars, the finest that our Country has ever had. There won't be anything, or anyone, even close!' he tweeted.

The phrase recalled a similar claim associated with President George W. Bush following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Bush addressed sailors aboard a Navy ship in May 2003 alongside a 'Mission Accomplished' banner, just weeks before it became apparent that Iraqis had organized an insurgency that tied down U.S. forces for years. 

Russia proposed a motion at the Security Council to pass a resolution condemning the airstrikes, but this was rejected with only Russia, China and Bolivia voting in favour.   

Trump hailed a 'perfectly executed strike' just hours after launching a series of attacks on Syria. He wrote on Twitter on Saturday morning: 'Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!'
Trump hailed a 'perfectly executed strike' just hours after launching a series of attacks on Syria. He wrote on Twitter on Saturday morning: 'Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!'

Trump hailed a 'perfectly executed strike' just hours after launching a series of attacks on Syria. He wrote on Twitter on Saturday morning: 'Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!'

He added: 'So proud of our great Military which will soon be, after the spending of billions of fully approved dollars, the finest that our Country has ever had. There won’t be anything, or anyone, even close!'
He added: 'So proud of our great Military which will soon be, after the spending of billions of fully approved dollars, the finest that our Country has ever had. There won’t be anything, or anyone, even close!'

He added: 'So proud of our great Military which will soon be, after the spending of billions of fully approved dollars, the finest that our Country has ever had. There won't be anything, or anyone, even close!'

Part of the calculation this week has also been gaming out how Russia will respond either in the region or around the world

The White House's talking points on the airstrikes emphasized the grotesqueness of the photos of children of 'dead and dying children' as a 'call to action among the world's civilized nations.'

Surrogates for the administration were told to stress in media appearance that 'actors who use these abhorrent weapons will be held accountable for their actions' but make clear that strikes 'are not intended as a provocation against the Russian Federation or its forces in Syria. We do not seek armed conflict with the Russian Federation.'

Nations that can but do not act to stop horrific attacks like the one in Syria 'make themselves complicit in these outrages,' the White House instructed its allies to say, and 'everyone must understand that the costs of using chemical weapons will always outweigh any military or political benefits.'

The talking points that were provided to DailyMail.com by a source also revealed the United States' intent to impose new sanctions on Russia in response to Moscow's 'ongoing support for the Assad regime' which the White House says has 'enabled the regime's atrocities against the Syrian people.'   

Damascus skies erupt with anti-aircraft fire after Donald Trump announced the strikes on Syria on Friday night 
Damascus skies erupt with anti-aircraft fire after Donald Trump announced the strikes on Syria on Friday night 

Damascus skies erupt with anti-aircraft fire after Donald Trump announced the strikes on Syria on Friday night 

The Damascus sky lights up with missile fire as the US, Britain and France launch an attack on Syria
The Damascus sky lights up with missile fire as the US, Britain and France launch an attack on Syria

The Damascus sky lights up with missile fire as the US, Britain and France launch an attack on Syria

Putin warns of 'consequences' for Syria airstrikes amid fears of Russian cyber attacks on British hospitals and banks as Boris defends 'standing up for civilized values' after backlash at May

Russia has delivered a dark warning of 'consequences' for the Syria strikes - as Boris Johnson passionately defended Britain's decision to stand up to 'barbarism'.

The Foreign Secretary said failure to response to Bashar Assad's use of illegal chemical weapons against his own people would have undermined 'civilised values'.

But amid fears of revenge attacks by Russia and criticism of Theresa May for acting without a Commons vote, Mr Johnson stressed there was no intention of getting more deeply involved in the Syrian civil war.

The US, UK and France hailed their missile strikes in the early hours of yesterday morning as having successfully degraded the capability of Assad to deploy chemical weapons.

The military action passed off without UK casualties or any of the Russian forces on the ground being hit.  

But there are over a Russian cyber backlash that could see vital services in Britain including water supplies, gas networks, banks, hospitals and air traffic control affected in retaliation for the strikes.

Theresa May, pictured at a press conference yesterday, is facing a backlash over the Syrian bombing after not going to Parliament for a vote first
Theresa May, pictured at a press conference yesterday, is facing a backlash over the Syrian bombing after not going to Parliament for a vote first

Theresa May, pictured at a press conference yesterday, is facing a backlash over the Syrian bombing after not going to Parliament for a vote first

GCHQ is thought to be monitoring the web to pick up any signs of cyber aggression from the Kremlin, following the unified missile strikes on Syrian chemical basis in Damascus
GCHQ is thought to be monitoring the web to pick up any signs of cyber aggression from the Kremlin, following the unified missile strikes on Syrian chemical basis in Damascus

GCHQ is thought to be monitoring the web to pick up any signs of cyber aggression from the Kremlin, following the unified missile strikes on Syrian chemical basis in Damascus

RAF Tornado taxiing to the threshold before taking-off on a sortie at RAF Akrotiri to conduct strikes in support of Operations over the Middle East
RAF Tornado taxiing to the threshold before taking-off on a sortie at RAF Akrotiri to conduct strikes in support of Operations over the Middle East

RAF Tornado taxiing to the threshold before taking-off on a sortie at RAF Akrotiri to conduct strikes in support of Operations over the Middle East

A series of missile strikes were launched against Syria by the US, UK and France in response to the suspected chemical weapons attack in Douma a week ago
A series of missile strikes were launched against Syria by the US, UK and France in response to the suspected chemical weapons attack in Douma a week ago

A series of missile strikes were launched against Syria by the US, UK and France in response to the suspected chemical weapons attack in Douma a week ago

The Russian ambassador to the US has delivered a dark warning about 'consequences' for the strikes
The Russian ambassador to the US has delivered a dark warning about 'consequences' for the strikes
Jeremy Corbyn has branded the military action 'legally questionable' - a claim flatly denied by the government
Jeremy Corbyn has branded the military action 'legally questionable' - a claim flatly denied by the government

The Russian ambassador to the US has delivered a dark warning about 'consequences' for the strikes (left). Jeremy Corbyn has branded the military action 'legally questionable' - a claim flatly denied by the government 

GCHQ is thought to be monitoring the web to pick up any signs of cyber aggression from the Kremlin, following the missile strikes on Syrian chemical basis in Damascus. 

Moscow's ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, said: 'A pre-designed scenario is being implemented. Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences. All responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris.'

There are concerns that cyber attacks could see electricity cuts, while Russian hackers could also disable water supplies, as well as energy grid and financial services being crippled suddenly.

Mrs May will face MPs tomorrow after defying calls for a Commons vote to be held before the military action in Syria. 

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn branded the UK's air strikes 'legally questionable', forcing the Government to publish detailed legal advice justifying the bombings.

It claimed 'the UK is permitted under international law, on an exceptional basis, to take measures in order to alleviate overwhelming humanitarian suffering'. 

A poll has suggested the public also had doubts about the raids. 

A Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday found nearly six out of ten believe there should be no more missile strikes unless Mrs May wins the backing of MPs. Only one in five were in favour of the PM using her executive powers to launch more raids.

However, she is also rated the most trusted Prime Minister to lead the nation into war since Margaret Thatcher, beating David Cameron and Tony Blair. 

The Syrian children whose pain sparked the allied airstrikes: Survivors of Assad's chemical attack tell how people fell to the ground vomiting, coughing and foaming at the mouth after inhaling 'spicy' gas 

The suffering of Syrian children who foamed at the mouth and struggled to breathe as they were caught up in a chemical attack last week has been revealed.

Children as young as seven have spoken of the horror they witnessed as the Assad regime targeted Douma, Eastern Ghouta, with chemical weapons last week. 

The horrific attack, which left at least 70 people dead, has spurred the West into action with the US, UK and France co-ordinating airstrikes against Syria. 

One girl, seven-year-old Masa, had to flee with her mother Amani while people fell to the ground around them amid clouds of white gas and dust, the Sunday Times reports from Syria. 

A child evacuated from Douma is pictured arriving in Al-Bab district after the chemical attack
A child evacuated from Douma is pictured arriving in Al-Bab district after the chemical attack

A child evacuated from Douma is pictured arriving in Al-Bab district after the chemical attack

A girl who was evacuated from Douma after the chemical attack which killed at least 70 people
A girl who was evacuated from Douma after the chemical attack which killed at least 70 people

A girl who was evacuated from Douma after the chemical attack which killed at least 70 people

Amani, 34, told the newspaper: 'The gas was spicy. Spicy in my throat like chilli. I was vomiting and coughing.

'I couldn't control my body. I was just shaking the whole time. There wasn't oxygen.'

The family and their neighbours had heard bombing outside, and discovered a gas attack when two young men went to see what was happening after hearing a hissing sound, it is reported. 

Amani found her husband and other daughter collapsed after inhaling the chemicals, but while her family survived everyone in the neighbouring basement died, she said.  

The survivors have been living in a camp in northern Syria after many of their friends and neighbours died in the Assad regime's attack. 

Another former resident of Douma, who now lives in exile, said eight of his neighbors - two women and their six children - were found dead and were were believed to have suffocated in their underground shelter from the poisonous gas. 

A child evacuated from Douma gestures from a bus carrying evacuees in Al-Bab district
A child evacuated from Douma gestures from a bus carrying evacuees in Al-Bab district

A child evacuated from Douma gestures from a bus carrying evacuees in Al-Bab district

A man evacuated from Douma holds a child and looks out from a bus which evacuated them
A man evacuated from Douma holds a child and looks out from a bus which evacuated them

A man evacuated from Douma holds a child and looks out from a bus which evacuated them

Donald Trump cited the Syrian children's agony when he spoke from the White House to announce U.S. airstrikes. 

'The evil and despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children thrashing in pain and gasping for air,' he said. 

Footage posted by the White Helmets showed victims with yellowed skin crumpled on the floor, white foam emerging from their mouths. 

The White House said doctors and aid organizations on the ground in Douma reported 'the strong smell of chlorine and described symptoms consistent with exposure to sarin.'

Much of the evidence comes from witness testimony, as well as video and photos shot by aid workers, victims of the attacks and unspecified additional intelligence about barrel bombs and chlorine canisters found in the aftermath. 

The newspaper said unrelated survivors on the ground had reported similar symptoms suggesting they had been the victims of a chemical attack. 

The symptoms included coughing, vomiting and foaming at the mouth, as well as a loss of feeling in their limbs which Amani said made it hard to get upstairs. 

Corbyn demands law BANNING PM from taking military action without MP vote as he says he would NEVER deploy UK forces without UN backing - even though Russia has a veto

Jeremy Corbyn today demanded a 'war powers' law to ban the Prime Minister from taking military action without a Commons vote.

The Labour leader also made clear he does not accept that the strikes on Syria by the UK, US and France were legally justified on humanitar

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