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They were very effective.

The Syrian air defences not only missed the incoming missiles but they kept firing even after the last US, British and French strikes were complete. "So it was a mission accomplished".

During the Security Council meeting, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley expressed Washington's preparedness to launch more military strikes on Syria if Washington learns that the Syrian government carries out a chemical weapons attack.

McCausland said it also "shows that the global community is not going to stand idly by and watch this particular, very important, worldwide legal norm about the prohibition of the use of chemical weapons to go without a response".

Haley's message came after her Russian counterpart, Vassily Nebenzia, said he would ask the Security Council to condemn the pre-dawn military strikes on Syria by the United States, France and Britain - calling the attacks a violation of global law and the U.N. Charter.

The U.S. launched what President Trump said were "precision strikes" on targets associated with the Syrian chemical weapons program.

While some people are cautious about laying the blame for the chemical attack on Douma at Syrian President Bashar Assad's door, Britain, France and the USA believe there is no other plausible culprit - citing a growing body of evidence against the regime.

After an emergency meeting of the North Atlantic Council at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg acknowledged the strike offered no guarantee against future chemical attacks by Assad.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the United States was prepared to sustain its pressure on Syria after a night of military strikes meant to cripple the country's ability to use chemical weapons, as Russian Federation accused Washington of "hooliganism" and a major breach of global law.

As of Saturday, neither Syria nor its Russian or Iranian allies retaliated, Pentagon officials said.

The allied attack set off a fierce global debate about whether it was justified.

The United Nations Security Council met Saturday and rejected a Russian resolution condemning the USA and its allies for the attacks.

Russian Federation circulated a draft resolution calling for condemnation of the military action, but Britain's ambassador said the strikes were "both right and legal" to alleviate humanitarian suffering in Syria. Putin added that Russian military experts who inspected Douma found no trace of the attack.

Syrian TV blasted the strikes as a "flagrant violation" of global law. He also said Congress must play an oversight role in such military actions.

The Pentagon said a barrage of more than 40 Syrian surface-to-air missiles had "no material effect" on the allied attack, which McKenzie said struck their targets.

The bombardment, including both cruise missiles and air-to-surface strikes, hit Syria around 4:00 am on Saturday (0100 GMT), jolting people awake in the capital's nearby residential neighbourhoods. Syrian time, about 9 p.m.

The strikes have become the latest, and potentially most unsafe, flashpoint between the USA and Russian Federation, whose relations have appeared to deteriorate significantly in recent weeks, and have raised the specter of a proxy battle - or even outright conflict - between the two nuclear powers.

Assad's Barzah research and development center in Damascus was destroyed, McKenzie said. "This is going to set the Syrian chemical weapon program back for years".

The Syrian Scientific Research Establishment is one of the targets that were hit by US missile strikes that hit Syria shortly before dawn on Friday.

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 have repeatedly expressed my deep disappointment that the Security Council failed to agree on a dedicated mechanism for effective accountability for the use of chemical weapons in Syria", he added. Russia's defense ministry said more than 100 cruise missiles were fired.

The Pentagon released video April 14 of the joint missile strike against the Syrian regime in retaliation for the suspected April 7 chemical attack against civilians in Douma.

Syrian state TV carried live images of hourslong street celebrations with people dancing and chanting in support of their government's "steadfastness" following unprecedented joint airstrikes by the United States, France and Britain on Syria.

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