In a robust response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by Syria, the US, UK and France struck targets associated with those weapons in the area of Damascus yesterday.
US President Donald Trump announced Friday evening in a televised address that the United States has launched an attack targeting forces of the Syrian Bashar al-Assad regime in retaliation for the alleged chemical attack on the rebel city of Douma.
“A short time ago, I ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capability of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad,” Trump said.
“A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now under way. We thank them both.”\
British Prime Minister Theresa May delivered her own televised address.
“The Syrian regime has a history of using chemical weapons against its own people….this persistent pattern of behavior must be stopped… because we cannot allow the erosion of the international norm that prevents the use of these weapons,” she said. “The international community must defend the global rules and standards that keep us all safe.”
Attack restricted to chemical sites, command post
Defense department officials briefed reporters after the announcement, detailing strikes on three targets over a 70-minute period. They confirmed that the operation had concluded and said that no further strikes were planned at this time.
Defense Secretary James Mattis emphasized that care was taken to ensure the strike would only target the al-Assad regime, and the coalition forces went to “great lengths to prevent civilian and foreign casualties.”
The coalition attack was designed to “destroy the regime’s research, development and production capability, ” of chemical weapons, Mattis said, calling it “decisive action to strike chemical weapons infrastructure.”
Referring to last year’s attack on a Syrian airbase, he said, “The Assad regime did not get the message last year. This time we struck harder.” Approximately double the number of weapons were used in the latest strike, Mattis said.
The strikes targeted a research facility, a chemical weapons storage facility and a command post, according to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford. Targets were struck in the Damascus and Homs areas.
There were no reports of losses among the attacking forces, Mattis said. Dunford noted that while normal deconfliction channels had been used, Russia had not been informed in advance of the attack or the targets.
Russian forces in Syrian did not respond; the only opposition to the operation came from Syrian surface-to-air missiles, the general added.
The briefers, however, were not entirely clear on what chemical agents the Syrians had deployed against Douma. “We are very confident that chlorine was used and we are not ruling out sarin right now,” Mattis said.
In addition to sea-launched missiles, reports indicate that US B1 bombers, and British Tornado and French Rafele fighter bombers, took part in the action.
Syrian news confirms attack; Russian ‘disinformation’ anticipated
Syria’s Al-Masdar news had earlier reported explosions in rural Damscus near the Dumayr Airbase in eastern Qalamoun. The Syrian Air Force used that site to launch airstrikes on East Ghouta, the report said.
Previous coalition attacks have not targeted the Damascus area.
Syrian Air Defense responded to the attacks, Al-Masdar said, but many cruise missiles successfully landed.
In anticipation of the media war to come, Mattis, in a pointed allusion to Russia, said in his briefing, “We fully expect a significant disinformation campaign by those who have aligned themselves with the Assad regime.”
Russia has denied that the Syrians have used chemical weapons, and has strongly warned the West not to attack its ally.
In an early response, the Russian foreign ministry called the Western attacks a violation of international laws.
Trump is not on a high horse, he is on a hobby horse.
Trump called Russia’s bluff. Now, we let’s wait and see Russia’s response..
Israeli fascist state pulling stupid American leash. Nothing more!!!
They have no good option in how to handle the Syrian issue without escalating tension with Syrian and its allies. But it look bad if nothing is done after going through all the trouble of sending a mighty armada to hammer a small mosquito. Sure, go ahead and hit some "targets" and go home a hero, and wait for the unforeseen consequences.
divert? what for? and risk war and his ass..unfounded theory..
Murdere’s !! Murderes !!murderes!!!
He is restoring the pride of the great nation America.
I agree this was not a serious effort especially if you are telling your advesaries the missile directions..Lindsay Grahm and McCain will not be happy..
The world expected something harder.
Like the fireworks? God bless America!
Seems a measured and appropriate military response to a dastardly military actions by Assad regime against innocent citizens of his country.
If the targets hit were what they say they are, that is chemical weapons research labs and depots, then I have no problem with that. That it has no UN resolution to back it up is a major problem though. The UN is useless.
False news shite
Civilian chemical attack will not go escort Free, next time will be more painful for Assad, ….
Us gave a fair fore warning about its planned air strike.
Yet syrian/Russian air defenses were not ready.how come?
Our Holy land has become a testing ground for weapons systems. These are sad days for humanity.
no one condeming chemical attacked but coalition bombing was highlighted by evil ones…
Can you destroy labs and depots containing chemical gas without any gas leak? According to Pentagon, there was no leak. This is magic that only the western population swallow.
Was there a chemical attack?
US & Allies mean business and next time around Al-Assad might be the target. Good that Russia is not aware of strike as it happened otherwise, Russia may counter strike and worse worse thing may happen. Assad needs to be eliminated for his crime against his people.
Please dont mess with trump or else consequence will follow shortly…tsk tsk tsssk.
Would be nice to see Russia voicing against China, that is breaking international law every single day they are occupying these islands…There is even a court ruling in place
A secret electronic blinder weapon was used to confuse the present system of defense installed by Russia in Syria ?
u are very stupid. wait and c til all Muslim country finish.
u are idiot.wait and c til all Muslim get finish
We are waiting…????
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