Cautious optimism among Syrian-Canadians, aid organizations after United States airstrikes

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Syrian President Bashar Assad was required to declare and dispose of all his chemical weapons under United Nations supervision in 2014, but his forces have been accused of using them since then, most recently this week, when a chemical attack in northern Syria killed almost 90 people.

"If we allowed this to go by, we would be as bad as those who stood by and did nothing as Hitler marched across Europe" in World War 2, Tom Harney, 64, a yacht broker from Lauderhill, Florida, said outside a diner in Fort Lauderdale. They are involved in talks outside of Syria, and are still working with US officials. Putin's initial reaction to the USA airstrikes was mild. Russia, which has military forces in Syria aiding Assad's government, says the deaths were caused by a gas leak from a depot where rebel groups stored chemical weapons, a charge the rebels deny and USA intelligence officials say is false. Yet Trump seemed moved to action by the suffering of innocents - the chemical attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun, which killed 87 people, including 31 children.

"We were fully justified in doing so", she said. The United States blamed Assad's forces and threatened punitive strikes, but backed off at the last minute following a surprise agreement with Moscow to remove all of Syria's previously undisclosed chemical weapons. But after Tuesday's apparent chemical weapons attack, Trump said Wednesday, "My attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much". "Those days are over".

A total break with Assad also entrenches one of the main impediments to success against IS in Syria: The coalition lacks a government-level ally on the ground.

A few Trump voters found themselves torn: wary of the decision to embroil the United States in Syria's six-year civil war but unwilling to abandon the president they elected.

"We strongly condemn the illegitimate actions by the U.S. The consequences of this for regional and worldwide stability could be extremely serious", Russia's deputy U.N. envoy, Vladimir Safronkov, told a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Friday.

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His aim was to defeat ISIS on the battlefield and seek a negotiated political deal with Assad.

The president was first informed of the chemical attack in Syria during his daily intelligence briefing at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Some Democrat and Republican lawmakers are criticizing President Donald Trump for carrying out airstrikes in Syria without getting Congress' approval first.

"We know the Russians have chemical expertise", said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

While threatening further strikes, the U.S. ambassador also said it was time to press on with diplomatic efforts to achieve a political solution to end the war.

Trump removed Bannon from the National Security Council this week in what was seen as a victory for new national security adviser H.R. McMaster, a former Army lieutenant general who was working to exert control over the national security apparatus.

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UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged restraint and a renewed push for peace in Syria, saying "there is no other way to solve the conflict than through a political solution".

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will visit Moscow as planned after the G7 meeting in Italy this week.

Still, not all Trump voters agreed with the missile strike, echoing objections from some on the far right that it ran counter to his campaign promises.

"Tonight I call on all civilized 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.

President Donald Trump launched 59 Tomahawks on Thursday and took on Bashar Assad.

At least 70 people, including 20 children, were killed in the gas attack in northern Syria. No personnel at the base uses gas masks, he said.

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But Sen. Robert Menendez, New Jersey's other senator and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he was OK with the Syrian strike if it were limited.

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