Syria strikes "perfectly executed, mission accomplished!": Trump

U-S President Donald Trump said the U-S-led airstrikes against the Syrian government overnight were "a perfectly executed strike.''

Trump tweeted Saturday "Mission Accomplished!''

Airstrikes launched by three countries, the U-S, France and Britain, targeted a military base and a research centre, which officials say were the heart of Syrian President Bashar Assad's programs to develop and produce chemical weapons.

The U-S and its allies said the airstrikes were launched in response to the Syrian regime's alleged use of chemical weapons last week to attack its own people. 

More than 40 people were killed and 500 injured -- including women and children -- after poison gas was used in the attack.

Syria has denied responsibility for the chemical attack.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said there is evidence the Syrian government was behind a suspected chemical attack on a rebel suburb near Damascus last weekend.

May added "reliable intelligence'' shows Syrian military officials co-ordinated what appears to have been the use of chlorine in Douma on April 7th, adding no other group could have carried out the attack.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the missile strikes will erode the Syrian government's "ability to further attack the people of Syria with chemical weapons.''

Colonel General Sergei Rudskoi of the Russian military's General Staff said the Syrian military used Soviet-made air defence missile systems to shoot down 71 out of 103 cruise missiles launched by the U-S, France and Britain.

He added the Russian air defence assets in Syria monitored the strike but didn't engage any of the missiles.

Syria denies using banned chemical weapons and Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested the alleged chemical attack was staged with the help of Britain or Israel. 

Rudskoi's claims had not been independently verified.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said it's clear to Canada chemical weapons were used and that they were used by the Assad regime.

She didn't specify how she knows the Syrian government is responsible.


-With files from The Associated Press and The Canadian Press