Syria's Assad tells Russian lawmakers Western strikes were act of aggression

Damascus sky lights up with service to air missile fire as the U.S. launches an attack on Syria targeting different parts of the Syrian capital Damascus Syria early Saturday

Syria pleads normalcy despite strikes

A few hours after the USA -led strike in Syria, the Syrian Presidency posted a video showing President Bashar al-Assad entering his office early on Saturday, and the state-owned news agency SANA published news to claim that life is normal in the capital, Damascus.

The three allies will brief North Atlantic Treaty Organisation envoys on Saturday about their co-ordinated airstrikes.

Trump says USA, allies will launch "precision strikes" until the Syrian government stops the use of chemical weapons.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the US military had kept its strikes limited because it knew a wider attack would spark retaliation from Damascus and its allies and inflame the region.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said "nothing is certain" when asked whether he believed the strikes would deter Syrian President Bashar Assad from using chemical weapons again.

Syrian state TV has broadcast images of the destruction at the research centre that was targeted.

The OPCW will determine whether chemical weapons were used, but will not assign blame.

The images shown on Al-Ikhbariya TV are the first of one of the targets.

The US-led strikes were the biggest global attack on President Bashar al-Assad's regime since the start of Syria's seven-year war.

"From the point of view of the president, this was aggression and we share this position", Russia's TASS news agency quoted lawmaker Sergei Zheleznyak as saying after the meeting with Assad in the Syrian capital Damascus.

But Russia has blocked countless resolutions against its Syrian ally and the regime has appeared determined to continue its military reconquest of the country.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May issued a statement on Saturday saying the "despicable and barbaric" attack killed up to 75 people, including young children, and that there were as many as 500 further casualties.

Despite a U.S. -Russian agreement to completely eliminate Syria's chemical weapons program after hundreds of people were gassed with sarin in Ghouta on August 21, 2013, the OPCW had been unable to verify that all manufacturing, storage and research facilities were destroyed. However, Syrian state media says while the strikes only caused limited damage, there are reports of six civilian casualties close to the city of Homs.

McKenzie told the Pentagon briefing on April 14 that the U.S. -British-French operation "successfully hit every target".

Putin told his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, also an Assad ally, that any new Western strikes in Syria would provoke "chaos in global relations".

US, French and British missiles destroyed sites suspected of hosting chemical weapons development and storage facilities Saturday, but the buildings were mostly empty and the Western trio swiftly reverted to its diplomatic efforts.

The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah said on Sunday that Western strikes on Syria had failed to achieve anything, including terrorizing the army, helping insurgents or serving the interests of Israel. Angela Merkel said her government believes the theU.S., Britain and France "took responsibility in this way as permanent members of the UN Security Council". The National spoke to Brian Stewart with the Munk School of Global Affairs and Thom Nichols, a professor at the U.S Naval War college where he teaches on national security, to get their thoughts on the potential fallout of the co-ordinated strikes.

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