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Syria war: US launches missile strikes in response to chemical 'attack'

(今日はブログを2点、アップしています。1個目のブログはこの下にあります)

The US has carried out a missile strike against a Syrian air base in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town.

Fifty-nine Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from two US Navy ships in the Mediterranean. Six people were killed, the Syrian army said.

It is the first direct US military action against forces commanded by Syria's president.

The Kremlin, which backs Bashar al-Assad, has condemned the strike.

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, called it "an act of aggression against a sovereign nation".


The attack, at 04:40 Syrian time (01:40 GMT), comes just days after dozens of civilians, including many children, died in the suspected nerve gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province.

Speaking from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Mr Trump branded President Assad a "dictator" who had "launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians".

Mr Trump said he had acted in America's "vital national security interest" to prevent the use of chemical weapons.

"Tonight I call on all civilised nations to join us in seeking to end this slaughter and bloodshed in Syria and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types," he said.


The UK government called the US strike "an appropriate response to the barbaric chemical weapons attack".

The Pentagon said the Russian military, which supports Syrian government forces, had been informed ahead of the US action.


In a statement the Pentagon said missiles fired from Navy destroyers USS Porter and USS Ross had targeted aircraft, aircraft shelters, storage areas, ammunition supply bunkers, air defence systems, and radars at Shayrat airfield in western Homs province.

The Pentagon added that the strike was intended "to deter the regime from using chemical weapons again".


BBC

A Russian defence ministry statement read on state television said the US attack had been “ineffective” and claimed Syrian authorities were looking for 36 Tomahawk missiles which fell outside the base and missed the target.

The statement also confirmed that Russia would stop cooperation and communication with US forces in Syria.

The Russian state news reporter Evgeny Poddubny is at the base and posted a video of the damage on his instagram account. He also wrote that his “preliminary information” at the base is that nine jets were destroyed in the strike.


Air strikes may have struck the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun on Friday, where a chemical attack killed scores of people this week, according to a witness in the rebel-held area and a war monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory on Human Rights (SOHR).


Iran, Assad’s staunch regional backer, was quick to condemn the US strike on Syria’s al-Shayrat airfield, saying it violated international law and risks complicating the conflict to a new level.

Tehran authorities also questioned claims that Assad was behind the chemical attack on Khan Sheikhun.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, as the biggest victim of chemical weapons in the contemporary history, condemns all uses of chemical weapons regardless of their users or victims, and at the same time, considers any unilateral measure with this excuse as dangerous, destructive, and violating of the imperative principles of the international law,” said Bahram Ghasemi, Tehran’s foreign ministry spokesman, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.


“We believe that the American missile attack on Shayrat air base in Syria launched from US warships, with the excuse of the mysterious chemical attack on Khan Shaykhun, Idlib, whose time, executers, and beneficiaries are shrouded in mystery, strengthens the near-to-death terrorists and complicates the situation in Syria and the whole region,” he added.


Russia 24 TV has shown images of damage at the Shayrat airbase targeted by the US airstrike. Here are some screengrabs shown on BBC News:


The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, who is in Tashkent today, said it appears there were no Russian servicemen killed in the missile strikes.

He also compared the action to the 2003 invasion of Iraq but said “at least that time they tried to bring some evidence forward”.

Other politicians in Russia are lining up to condemn the US airstrike, with many claiming the news of the chemical attack was a “fake” in order to provide a pretext for military action.


Hillary Clinton called for the US to take out Syrian government-controlled airfields just hours before Donald Trump launched airstrikes against Bashar al-Assad’s regime, PA reports.

Speaking in her first public interview since losing the US election in November last year, Clinton said Assad’s aerial power had been the key component behind widespread civilian deaths since the start of the civil war in 2011.

President Trump authorised the launchof cruise missiles in the early hours of Friday morning on a Syrian airbase thought to be behind this week’s chemical weapons attack.

Speaking to the New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, Clinton said she believed the US had been wrong not to have previously launched such an offensive.

She said: “Assad had an air force, and that air force is the cause of most of the civilian deaths, as we have seen over the years and as we saw again in the last few days.

“And I really believe that we should have and still should take out his airfields and prevent him from being able to use them to bomb innocent people and drop Sarin gas on them.”


Angelino Alfano, the Italian foreign minister, said in a statement that Italy understood the reasons behind US military action and called the strikes a “proportionate” deterrent to the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime.

Alfano called for a “necessary and urgent” meeting of the UN security council – where Italy, a non-permanent member, currently has a vote – and the adoption of a consensus resolution to prevent further atrocities.

He also pointed to Rex Tillerson’s upcoming visit to Moscow, suggesting that the US secretary of state could encourage Russia to use its influence in Syria and with Assad to agree “a real ceasefire, full humanitarian access and a gradual building of trust between the Syrian parties”.

 

1 new update   


15m ago
10:49

 
A Russian defence ministry statement read on state television said the US attack had been “ineffective” and claimed Syrian authorities were looking for 36 Tomahawk missiles which fell outside the base and missed the target.

The statement also confirmed that Russia would stop cooperation and communication with US forces in Syria.

The Russian state news reporter Evgeny Poddubny is at the base and posted a video of the damage on his instagram account. He also wrote that his “preliminary information” at the base is that nine jets were destroyed in the strike.


 
16m ago
10:48
 
Air strikes reported in chemical-attack town - Reuters


Air strikes may have struck the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun on Friday, where a chemical attack killed scores of people this week, according to a witness in the rebel-held area and a war monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory on Human Rights (SOHR).


19m ago
10:45
 
Iran, Assad’s staunch regional backer, was quick to condemn the US strike on Syria’s al-Shayrat airfield, saying it violated international law and risks complicating the conflict to a new level.

Tehran authorities also questioned claims that Assad was behind the chemical attack on Khan Sheikhun.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, as the biggest victim of chemical weapons in the contemporary history, condemns all uses of chemical weapons regardless of their users or victims, and at the same time, considers any unilateral measure with this excuse as dangerous, destructive, and violating of the imperative principles of the international law,” said Bahram Ghasemi, Tehran’s foreign ministry spokesman, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.


“We believe that the American missile attack on Shayrat air base in Syria launched from US warships, with the excuse of the mysterious chemical attack on Khan Shaykhun, Idlib, whose time, executers, and beneficiaries are shrouded in mystery, strengthens the near-to-death terrorists and complicates the situation in Syria and the whole region,” he added.


25m ago
10:39
 
Russia 24 TV has shown images of damage at the Shayrat airbase targeted by the US airstrike. Here are some screengrabs shown on BBC News:

Screengrabs shown on BBC News from Russia 24 TV showing the damage at Shayrat airbase in Syria

Screengrabs shown on BBC News from Russia 24 TV showing the damage at Shayrat airbase in Syria. Photograph: BBC News


 
0:39

Russia 24 shows video from inside Syrian airbase targeted by US strike

Updated at 10.57am BST


 
31m ago
10:33
 
The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, who is in Tashkent today, said it appears there were no Russian servicemen killed in the missile strikes.

He also compared the action to the 2003 invasion of Iraq but said “at least that time they tried to bring some evidence forward”.

Other politicians in Russia are lining up to condemn the US airstrike, with many claiming the news of the chemical attack was a “fake” in order to provide a pretext for military action.

Updated at 10.56am BST


39m ago
10:25
 

Hillary Clinton called for the US to take out Syrian government-controlled airfields just hours before Donald Trump launched airstrikes against Bashar al-Assad’s regime, PA reports.

Speaking in her first public interview since losing the US election in November last year, Clinton said Assad’s aerial power had been the key component behind widespread civilian deaths since the start of the civil war in 2011.

President Trump authorised the launchof cruise missiles in the early hours of Friday morning on a Syrian airbase thought to be behind this week’s chemical weapons attack.

Speaking to the New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, Clinton said she believed the US had been wrong not to have previously launched such an offensive.

She said: “Assad had an air force, and that air force is the cause of most of the civilian deaths, as we have seen over the years and as we saw again in the last few days.

“And I really believe that we should have and still should take out his airfields and prevent him from being able to use them to bomb innocent people and drop Sarin gas on them.”

  
The US navy launches a tomahawk land attack missile in the Mediterranean Sea.
 
The US navy launches a tomahawk land attack missile in the Mediterranean Sea. Photograph: Ford Williams/AP

Updated at 10.55am BST


Angelino Alfano, the Italian foreign minister, said in a statement that Italy understood the reasons behind US military action and called the strikes a “proportionate” deterrent to the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime.

Alfano called for a “necessary and urgent” meeting of the UN security council – where Italy, a non-permanent member, currently has a vote – and the adoption of a consensus resolution to prevent further atrocities.

He also pointed to Rex Tillerson’s upcoming visit to Moscow, suggesting that the US secretary of state could encourage Russia to use its influence in Syria and with Assad to agree “a real ceasefire, full humanitarian access and a gradual building of trust between the Syrian parties”.

Updated at 10.53am BST

 

Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, said he supported Donald Trump’s “resolve” against the use and proliferation of chemical weapons.

“We understand that the action taken by the United States was designed to prevent the situation [in Syria] from worsening,” Kyodo News quoted Abe as saying after a meeting of Japan’s national security council.

Abe described Tuesday’s chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians as “extremely inhumane”, adding that he appreciated Trump’s attempts to address threats to global security, including North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes.

Syria aside, Abe said “the threat from weapons of mass destruction is also growing more serious in east Asia”.

He added: “Japan will coordinate with the United States and the rest of the international community and play its proper role in global peace and stability.”


China’s Global Times, a nationalist Communist party-controlled tabloid that sometimes reflects official views, has published an online editorial criticising Trump’s strikes against Syria.

The newspaper said the attack was likely to spark conflict between the US and Russia and “took place despite no definitive results from the investigation by an international organisation, and was carried out in the absence of a UN security council resolution”.

“Trump’s decision to attack the Assad government is a show of force from the US president,” it added. “He wants to prove that he dares to do what Obama dared not. He wants to prove to the world that he is no ‘businessman president’ and that he will use US military force without hesitation when he considers it necessary.”

“This is Trump’s first major move in international affairs, and it leaves an impression that the decision was made in haste,” the newspaper added. “The Syrian civil war is entering a new phase. More refugees will flee the region and Europe may have to pay the price.”


A Syrian official has told the Associated Press that at least seven were killed and nine were wounded in US missile attack on airbase.


Syrian rebels on Friday welcomed a US strike on a government airbase and called for additional action, with one powerful faction saying a single strike was not enough, AFP reports.

“Hitting one airbase is not enough, there are 26 airbases that target civilians,” a key figure in the Army of Islam faction, Mohamed Alloush, said on Twitter. “The whole world should save the Syrian people from the clutches of the killer Bashar [al-Assad] and his aides.”

Other rebel groups welcomed the US strike and called for continued military action against the regime.

“The American strike against the killing tools used by Bashar al-Assad is the first step on the correct path to combating terrorism and we hope it will continue,” said Issam Raes, spokesman for the Southern Front rebel faction. “In my opinion, the message is political, and the message has arrived to Russia and been understood.”

Colonel Ahmed Osman, of the Turkey-backed Sultan Murad rebel group, said: “We welcome any action that will put an end to the regime that is committing the worst crimes in history.”

Mohamed Bayrakdar, another leader of the Army of Islam, which operates mainly around the capital Damascus, described the strike as “a bold and correct step”.

“We welcome any response to the crimes of the regime,” he told AFP.


France was among the countries informed by the US ahead of the strikes, the French foreign minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, said.

“I was told by Rex Tillerson during the night,” Ayrault said, calling the missile strike “a warning [to] a criminal regime”.

The office of the French president, François Hollande, issued a statement confirming he had spoken with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel:


Sources have told the Guardian that US intelligence officials believe Russian personnel were at al-Shayrat airbase when sarin was loaded on to a Syrian jet. They have not established whether the Russians knew it was happening.

The base covers an area of more than 8 sq km and has two runways and dozens of buildings, silos and storage facilities.

Syrian opposition figures claim to have identified the pilot allegedly responsible for bombing Khan Sheikhun at about 6.30am on 4 April. Five hours later, close to 11.30am, a hospital treating victims from the attack was hit by a conventional bomb, dropped from a jet.

The sources say that on both occasions, a Russian Sukhoi was monitored by ground radar and aerial reconnaissance flying over the town. Flashes were picked up on the ground, indicating that ordnance had been dropped.

The air space over northern Syria is monitored heavily by Turkey, the US and Russia, and all three have precise knowledge of whose jets are in the air and where they fly.


New Zealand has joined the list of nations backing the airstrikes, with prime minister Bill English saying the US action was supported by NZ.


Russia (which, along with China, has vetoed previous UN resolutions against Assad) has called for a meeting of the UN security council to discuss the US strikes:


Russia also says it is suspending its agreement to communicate with the US over the use of Syrian airspace – possibly a reference to the so-called “deconfliction line”, via which the US military gave Russia warning on Thursday of the missile strikes (more on that here):


China, which has repeatedly blocked UN resolutions against Assad, has now issued its official response to the US strikes on Syria.

Speaking at a press conference in Beijing, the foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, stopped short of explicitly condemning the US airstrikes but said China had always been opposed to the “use of force”.

Hua said China also opposed “the use of chemical weapons by any country, organisation or individual, in any circumstance and for any purpose”.

There was now an urgent need to prevent a “further deterioration” of the situation in Syria, Hua added.

 

With the UK, Australia, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Japan offering strong backing for the US strikes, Indonesia has given a more cautious response.

Foreign ministry spokesman Armanatha Nasir told Reuters via text message that Indonesia strongly condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria but added:

(BBC)


アメリカ軍がシリア国内の空軍基地に巡航ミサイルで攻撃。

米国は6日、シリアのアサド政権が化学兵器を使用した疑惑を受け、シリアへのミサイル攻撃を実施した。米メディアが報じた。AP通信などによると、約60発のミサイルを打ち込んだという。

トランプ米大統領は6日、サリンなどの化学兵器を使用したとみられるシリアに対し、米軍に攻撃を命じたと発表した。米軍によると米東部時間6日午後8時40分(現地時間7日午前4時40分)、地中海の米海軍艦船からシリアの空軍基地に59発の巡航ミサイル「トマホーク」を発射した。アサド政権に対し米が実施した初の攻撃となる。アサド政権を支援するロシアとの対立は必至だ。

トランプ氏はフロリダ州で声明を読み上げ「今夜、私はシリアの空港を目標とする空爆を命じた」と述べた。「致死的な化学兵器の使用防止は米国の国家安全保障の重大な利益だ」と強調。シリアでの殺りくや流血を止めるため、米国と協力するよう「すべての文明国家に要請する」と訴えた。

米軍によると、攻撃対象はアサド政権が空爆に使用したとされるシリア西部の軍用飛行場や航空機、倉庫、防空システム、レーダーなど。米軍は攻撃結果について、シリア航空機や空軍基地、支援施設を破壊し、アサド政権の化学兵器使用能力の弱体化に成功したとしている。

空爆は事前にロシアに通告した。このほか中東には米空母ジョージ・ブッシュが展開しているほか、シリア国内に過激派組織「イスラム国」(IS)掃討作戦への助言のため数百人の米軍要員が駐留している。

オバマ前大統領は2013年、アサド政権が化学兵器を使用したとして「一線を越えた」と軍事介入を予告したが、議会の支持が得られないことを理由に直前で見送った。その後、アサド政権は反体制派に攻勢をかけ、過激派組織「イスラム国」(IS)の台頭を招いたとの批判がある。トランプ氏は4日の声明で「(空爆は)前政権が何もしなかった結果だ」とオバマ氏の対応は弱腰だったと批判していた。

アサド政権を支援するロシアとの対立は必至だ。


ロシア、シリア非難で欧米に対抗案 安保理、採決再見送り 


ロシアは6日、国連安全保障理事会で米英仏によるシリア北西部での化学兵器使用の非難決議案への対抗案を示した。ロシア案では4日の化学兵器を使ったとみられる空爆に「深い懸念を覚える」とし、「非難」という言葉を除いてアサド政権に配慮。米英仏は6日夜に非難決議案の採決を目指したが議論は混迷し、採決は再び見送られた。

シリア北西部イドリブ県の空爆サリンなど化学兵器が使用された可能性を巡り、米英仏3カ国は「最も強い言葉で非難する」との決議案を配布していた。だがアサド政権軍の空軍基地への立ち入り調査や飛行記録・計画、指揮官名の提出を求める決議案にシリアを支援するロシアが反発。独自案を提示した。

さらにスウェーデンなど10カ国の非常任理事国も米英仏案を基本とする妥協案を示し、協議は難航、採決を見送った。ロシアはこれまでもシリア危機を巡ってたびたび拒否権を行使し、反体制派を支持する欧米と対立してきた。


安倍晋三首相は7日午後、サリンなどの化学兵器を使用したとみられるシリアのアサド政権について「極めて非人道的であり、国連決議にも反する」と批判した。「シリアで再び化学兵器によって何の罪もない多くの一般人が犠牲となった。幼い子どもたちも犠牲となった惨状を目の当たりにして、国際社会は大きな衝撃を受けている」とも述べた。首相官邸で記者団に語った。

 

 


うん・・・。

あくまで”シリア北西部イドリブ県の空爆サリンなど化学兵器が使用された可能性”なんだよね。

うん…アサド政権が化学兵器を使用した可能性は高いのだけど、…やはり確信があってからの攻撃ならば納得できるけど。


近年では、シリアは、米露の代理戦争に化していたからね。


それにしても、巡航ミサイル攻撃の動画、凄いね!

怖いよ・・・。

日本にとっては北朝鮮の核弾道ミサイルの脅威があるから。

 

攻撃対象はアサド政権が空爆に使用したとされるシリア西部の軍用飛行場や航空機、倉庫、防空システム、レーダーなど。

攻撃対象がこれならば、ある程度の支持は出来る。

 

ただ、湾岸戦争時、イラク大量破壊兵器化学兵器を持っているとU.S.などがイラクを攻撃したけれど、大量破壊兵器化学兵器は持っていなかったという経緯がある。


僕が、懸念しているのは、その点です。


<ロシアは「ロシアのペスコフ大統領報道官は7日、米軍によるシリア攻撃についてでっち上げ情報に基づく主権国家への攻撃であり、国際法違反だ」と批判した。シリアのアサド政権は化学兵器保有していないと述べ、同政権が反体制派への攻撃に使用したとの情報は「でっち上げ」と主張した。>、ここが、やはり気になりますね。


攻撃は、きちんとした確信が無ければいけない。


そして、これは米中関係にも関係してくる。

日本にとっては、米中関係が悪化した方がいいのだけどね。

以前にも記したけれど、…日本の頭越しに米中が手打ちをするというのが最悪のシュミレーション。


とりあえず、アサド政権が確実に化学兵器を使用したという証拠が無ければならないのだけど、…色んな写真を見ると、…化学兵器を使用した感が強いのは確かです。

 

2017/04/07