07/04/2017 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today Reporting from Washington,


President Trump's rhetoric in action - Russia condemns US air strikes


in Syria and promises to strengthen the country's air defence systems.


A barrage of tomahawk missiles hits Syria's second largest airbase -


from where the chemical weapons attack's believed


Tonight, I call on all civilized nations join us in seeking


to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria.


The dramatic reversal of his previous policy


on Syria eclipses the visit of China's President Xi -


At least three people are killed and many injured as a lorry ploughs


into showers in the Swedish capital Stockholm.


I could see bodies lying in the street and I could see the police


covering a body with a orange blanket.


The first American military strike against President Assad's regime -


With much of the west lining up behind Washington -


and President Trump's apparent restoration of the US


being the world's policeman - Russia has condemned the attack


as an "act of aggression against a sovereign nation".


President Trump authorised the missile strike on the Shayrat


air base, from where it's believed this week's deadly


chemical weapons attack in northern Syria was launched.


Nine civilians, including four children, and seven soldiers


Our north America editor Jon Sopel reports on the strike and what it


says about a dramatic change in the Trump administration's


It was after dark on the east coast of America and before the sun had


risen in the Middle East when the commander in


From two US war ships, a volley of cruise missiles


were fired at a military air base, that has been used, say


the Americans, to launch the chemical weapons attack on Idlib.


It is in the vital security interest of the


United States to prevent and to deter the spread and use of deadly


There can be no dispute that Syria used banned


chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the chemical


weapons convention and ignored the urging


The grotesque after-effects of the attack, the United States believe


a nerve agent was used, horrified the world and


A line had been crossed and unlike his


Assad choked the lives of men, women and children.


It was a slow and brutal death for so many.


Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this


No child of God should ever suffer such horror.


What is astonishing is the speed with which this administration has


changed its policy to Syria and decided to act.


At the start of week, President Trump saw Bashar


al-Assad as a useful ally against Islamic State.


But the chemical weapons attack changed everything and


within two days, targets had been identified and struck.


Here is what we know about the attack.


59 Tomahawk missiles were issued from the eastern Med.


It is deep in government-held territory.


Targets included, aircraft, fuel depots and radar.


Because Russian forces are also at the base, Russia


was informed of the attack in advance.


The aftermath shows damage at the base, but hardly devastation.


The Pentagon said it didn't target the runways,


the aim was to destroy the infrastructure that allows the base


to function and the attack has brought the president support.


The president was authorised to conduct


the strike, he is not asking for a declaration of war,


he was dealing with circumstances and as


the commander in chief not only did he have the right,


Despite the enthusiasm we can see, to quote Churchill, it is


the end of the beginning not the beginning of the end.


Donald Trump who didn't want to get embroiled in


foreign conflict has just ordered US forces


address last night he didn't sound like an isolationist.


Good night and God bless America and the entire world.


The president, not yet 100 days in, has travelled a


Our Correspondent, Barbara Plett Usher is in Florida


where President Trump is meeting the Chinese President Xi Jinping.


Dramatic reversal of strategy. Also potentially, Barbara, in message


that won't be lost on his guest for the past few days. Now, I suppose


not in the sense that President Trump are strong that he is ready


and willing to use military force when he feels he needs to and there


is a discussion about a potential conflict with the Chinese offered


effective North Korea. President Trump has sounded at times quite


bellicose about North Korea suggesting even obliquely that they


might be willing to oblige a creative strike. I would be careful


about comparisons. It had a particular objective about deserving


observing chemical weapons. North Korea would be a vastly different


situation. The risks are in love -- are a lot higher. The risks of war


are quite high. It would be quite destructive. The message is that Mr


Trump is prepared to be militarily when he feels it's necessary and


possible. Drawing comparisons between different conflict zones is


not the correct way to see it. The United States has said it


could take further military action against the Syrian government


after firing missiles at a Syrian airbase, from which Washington


believes a chemical weapons Our correspondent Laura Trevelyan's


on Capitol Hill, where Senators have The senators have just about


everything when they receive more detail on the strike last night.


Possible next steps. I've only spoken to one senator that was


completely opposed to what happened. He is a Republican from Kentucky's


Angie says that the president should always get authorisation from


Congress before lodging in military strike. I have been taking the


temperature on both sides of the aisle. I asked for reaction to last


night 's right. What we know happened here was for the second


time and probably multiple other times. Is that basically killed


thousands of people, little children, Jordan to death on glass.


Defence who responded in this way and simply went after the field from


from which these chemicals were lodged was the right thing to do.


She made the point that a number of lawmakers have been making the same


point that they must be consulted if the west escalate the conflict. I've


also spoken to any Republican senator who was very critical last


week when it seemed that members of the Trump administration were


suggesting that it was a political reality that President Assad would


stay in office and he said to me that he is worried about the wider


Middle East strategy from the White House. My concern is that the banner


demonstration and the first months of the club administration, there


hasn't been a clear strategy from either Eddie Obama or from


administration. We need to address some of the specific issues, whether


it is Aleppo, the chemical attacks or whether it is the migration flows


that have affected your work, Turkey and Jordan and other allies. --


affected Europe. It has been hailed as a critical first step and asking


what the administration will do next. The big question is what is


the next strategy? Russia, which supports


President Assad, has reacted angrily -


accusing the United States There would be negative


consequences, it said, the US strike, according


to Prime Minister Medvedev, "on the verge of engaging


in military encounters with Russia". Moscow also accused President Trump


of damaging the fight against terrorism and so-called


Islamic State group in Syria. Our Moscow Correspondent,


Steve Rosenberg, has this report Until recently, the Russian


media have been singing Today, state TV accused him


of an unprovoked show of force with the missile strike he ordered


on a civilian air base. Moscow said it was a gross,


groundless violation It's definitely an aggressive act


against international law, against a sovereign country,


and without any true evidence of the Assad regime


using chemical weapons. It is Russian military


power that's been keeping Russia's air force and navy


is helping Syria's leader turn the tide of the country's civil war


and boosting Moscow's Today, the Kremlin accused


Washington of inventing a pretext Those American Tomahawks may have


been targeting the Syrian military, but judging by what the Kremlin has


been saying, it's US-Russia relations that will take


a real battering out as a result The Russians had been hoping


that with Donald Trump in the White House relations


with America would improve. So far, there's been


no sign of that. Today, Moscow suspended a deal


designed to prevent incidents between US and Russian


warplanes over Syria. Which means that we have two big


military powers in the area operating without any contact


and any coordination, The Russians are hoping that this US


strike was a one-off, but tonight, they are strengthening air defence


systems across Syria, just in case. Until this week's chemical


attack in northern Syria, President Trump had appeared set


against any intervention against Our Middle East Editor,


Jeremy Bowen, reports now on the implications of the US strike


for the six-year Syrian war. The war crime that killed so many


in a village pushed the Americans The long-term impact


on the war itself depends More chemical attacks would provoke


a tougher American response. But the US might accept a return


to conventional killing. The Syrian regime denies it has ever


used chemical weapons. I think President Trump himself


knows that Syria did not use any chemical weapons,


it does not have any chemical weapons, as it has given


all its stock pile too the international organisation


responsible for that. The Americans say they have clear


that the proof that the Syrian forces carried out war crimes,


they're certain of that, that is why they carried


out this raid. 14 years after the invasion of Iraq,


we see Iraq has been destroyed. Syria is the second secular state


after Iraq that is being targeted by the west,


simply because it is secular and it has an army and it is against


the Israeli occupation of Palestine. In one of the Damascus suburbs,


people stopped believing the regime years ago and want more military


action from the Americans. TRANSLATION: We hope that any


foreign intervention will be an intervention to bring an end


to the suffering of the Syrian TRANSLATION: The solution


is for the Assad regime The end of massacres,


the end of targeting of civilians. A reason why the war is so hard


to stop is that so many With different interests


and objectives. President Assad's main allies


are Russia and Iran. These days the rebels still fighting


the regime are mainly Some approved by the west and some


are jihadists. There is also the war


against so-called Islamic State. Think of it all as


layers of conflict. And sometimes they intersect


and now Donald Trump has The events at Khan Sheikhoun


and the US response will force the Syrian regime to take


American threats more seriously, Force equals influence in Syria


and more foreign intervention I'm joined now by former


State Department official Vali Nasr, who is now dean


of the Johns Hopkins School What does this tell us about


President Trump's international doctrine? Driven on a motion? It's


driven on domestic consideration. He had no option to act on the red line


that President Obama didn't because otherwise he would be accused of


being no different than President Obama. He has found that his America


first strategy does not work and he is acting as the policeman of the


world and gone back to the of the United states upholding


international law. This was a one-off strike. What happens if


another chemical attack or another atrocity? He has said -- set the


precedent. He is also already crossed the line in which he now


owns this conflict more than he did before. His allies in the Middle


East, it be expected that the US will set order in Syria. The problem


with President Trump is that he's never said what is interested in


Syria. The consequences of this in terms of blowback potentially, the


relations with Russia, they are now dead, I do? They are not where they


were. The two may find a way to get back to the middle but the Russians


are clearly not happy with any American action in serve that would


chose injury week or forced the Russians to reassert their imperial


grandeur. This is viewed as a challenge and they would have to


react. He might have a cycle that reflect itself in Ukraine and


elsewhere as well. -- you might have a cycle. This is a man who many


pupils are at an amateur. Now he looks like a world leader. He is


eclipsing some domestic problems. We always knew he was decisive. He was


decidedly non-in favour of intervention.


This has forced in this direction. Asset created a situation in which


Trump could not say no to the general is already traditional


foreign policy people. We should not offer a bridge into this. Trump was


not driven by the facts or conflict by what it would mean domestic


league defeated the same as what President Obama did. Russia, Iran


are completely against him and the coalition behind. Russia and Iran


are supporters of assets. Even if they think that President Assad


roentgen four and jeopardise their position, they still cannot publicly


criticise the other or condone any American punishment of Assad.


Privately, I suspect they are pretty furious with Assad.


You can get much more on the US attack on Syria


on the BBC News website, but now it's back to


London where Kasia has the rest of the day's news.


One other story dominating the news today -


a lorry has been driven into a crowd of pedestrians in Stockholm,


killing at least three people and injuring many others.


The Swedish Prime Minister said everything suggested


The incident happened outside a department store on a busy


pedestrian shopping street at around two o'clock local time.


The driver of the truck is still at large and police


Our security correspondent, Frank Gardner, has the latest.


A moment of panic in a peaceful city.


This was Stockholm this afternoon, as people fled in terror


from a truck which appeared to drive deliberately into crowds of shoppers


TRANSLATION: I saw exactly where the lorry went in, just there.


There wasn't much of a reaction, then the police arrived.


The police just said, you have to run.


Initial reports said two people were killed,


then at least three, and several injured.


Stockholm has seen nothing like this for years.


The truck crashed into a department store and caught fire.


The brewery company that owned it said a man hijacked it


You could actually see bodies lying on the street and I could see


the police covering the body with an orange blanket.


There were lots of police around, lots of people standing around


There was a lady laying with a severed foot,


there was blood everywhere, there were bodies on


People standing by their loved ones, but also people running away.


The Swedish authorities say they had no warning of this attack.


The question now is, who did it and why?


The police have issued these pictures of a man


they want to question, while the Prime Minister says Sweden


TRANSLATION: The government is informed of the situation


We support all the authorities that are working on this,


and we are asking the public to be alert and listen to police advice.


At least two people are dead and our thoughts are with their families.


Whoever was behind today's attack, this has been a huge shock,


not just for Sweden, but for all of Scandinavia.


Security is now being tightened in neighbouring Norway and Finland.


Already, some are saying this has been a wake-up call.


Our correspondent, Maddy Savage, is live at the scene of the attack


He can speak to the former Prime Minister of Sweden. Sweden is in


shock. Do you have any indication as to who is behind this? No, nothing.


The police are searching for that. There are right behind me. Along the


pedestrian street, where the man was driving before he crashed into the


department store. I think we will just have to wait for the police to


do their work and eventually find out who was responsible. We.... The


cover and Swedish minister has said that everything poised to visiting


an act of terrorism. Do you agree? Yes, certainly. We saw this pattern


in Berlin and London. A single man. Hijacking a lorry and driving into


pedestrians with a clear intention of killing as many as possible. That


is what we call terrorism. Is Sweden prepare for some thing like this? We


live in the world where we live but no one has been killed by terrorists


in this city since 1975. That was the German terrorist blowing up the


embassy. We had a man who attempted to do suicide attack in virtually


the same area in December, 2010. He ended up just blowing up himself.


Apart from that, the other chapters. Swedish people know the world in


which we live because of the media. Because of these particular types of


attacks, it is difficult to guard yourself. Our security correspondent


has been to Sweden and says there is not the same sense of security you


have in the centre of London, not as many crash barriers and not as much


CCTV. You think that'll after these events? London is unique with all of


the CCTV, because of the IRA. Whether that will change, I don't


know. There are privacy issues on board with that as well. Clearly,


they will have to be a review of whether anything further can be


done. Pedestrians are ever cars everywhere, the sorts of things are


very, very difficult to have 100% guarantee against. Slowly the public


transport is becoming operational again. The subway is cleared and


beginning to open. Life is beginning to return to normal. Yes, the


reaction in the street is immediately after attack and has


been amazingly calm. There has been an amount of time while. When you


close down the subway system and worldly system, this prevents


anybody from running away primarily. Apologies recording of blood were


out of time. -- apologies for cutting you off but we are running


out of time. That's all from the problem.


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