“The attack is the blatant violation of global laws, as well as ignoring the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria”, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said according to Iranian state media.
Britain and France joined the overnight strikes – one of them near the capital Damascus – which were intended as a “strong deterrent” against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own people, Trump said in a televised speech. He admitted as much, saying that “should [Assad] decide to use more chemical weapons in the future”, the United States would be willing to go back into Syria.
Last April, Trump ordered a cruise missile strike against a Syrian airbase last April after a similar chemical weapons attack on civilians.
Syrian media reported that air defenses hit 13 rockets south of Damascus.
Reports circulated that the Dumayr air base outside Damascus was one of the other targets hit.
As he was speaking, missile strikes started Syria.
“The President must get Congressional approval before attacking Syria-big mistake if he does not!”
The strikes were met with limited resistance in the form of Syrian surface-to-air missiles and the country’s state TV said three civilians were wounded near the military base in Homs. Not really … because as we’ve written in the past, previous chemical weapons attacks in Syria have been exposed as false flags.
There were no immediate reports on casualties or the extent of the damage.
The Pentagon could not confirm how many missiles hit their targets. American forces, together with British and French allies, bombed three different targets in Syria – each of which was related to Syria’s chemical weapons program. This was the accusation, adapted from the title of a popular movie, against President Bill Clinton who, in the midst of the Monica Lewinsky affair, launched military strikes against al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan in August 1998 following al Qaeda’s bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa.
Friday evening’s actions were a response to a chemical weapon attack on the town of Douma, in eastern Ghouta, last Saturday.
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said no further attacks are planned, and “right now this is a one-time shot”.
The Syrian government surrendered its stockpiles of chemical weapons during a process monitored by the OPCW in 2014. Another official said that targets were being carefully selected with the aim of damaging Assad’s ability to conduct further gas attacks.
Syria’s air defences “were made in the USSR more than 30 years ago”, the ministry said.
The US has about 2000 troops on the ground in Syria as advisers to a makeshift group of anti-Islamic State fighters known as the Syrian Democratic Forces. With the extremist group largely defeated, the president says he supports the withdrawal of US forces.
In his nationwide address, Trump stressed that he has no interest in a longtime fight with Syria.
The Syrians said as many as 16 people were killed in the strikes, including nine civilians in the surrounding area.
The White House has said the mission to fight Islamic State in Syria was “coming to a rapid end” while offering no timetable for USA withdrawal.
“The combined American, British and French response to these atrocities will integrate all instruments of our national power: military, economic and diplomatic”, Trump said.
“To Iran and to Russian Federation, I ask: ‘What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?'”
Trump says, “The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep”. “No nation can succeed in the long run by supporting rogue states, brutal tyrants and murderous dictators”.
Mr Trump said he hoped the U.S. would be friends “one day” with Russian Federation and Iran, before adding: “But maybe not”. “They are crimes of a monster instead”.
Before the strike, the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons Fact-Finding Mission expressed its intentions to start its investigation into the alleged chemical attack in Douma amid calls by some Western countries for a response to the incident.
Unconfirmed reports that members of Iran’s Republican Guard had been hit added to fears that the Western strikes could lead to a broader confrontation with a nuclear-armed Russian Federation or regional heavyweight Iran. The continuing involvement of American forces in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, where the USA has fought extended conflicts since September 11, 2001, continues to be a source of consternation for him.
Trump ordered cruise missile strikes on a Syrian air base nearly exactly one year ago following a chemical attack on civilians in the town of Khan Sheikhoun that the USA blamed on Assad.
Imad Harb, an analyst at the Arab Center Washington DC, a think-tank, said he supported the strikes but warned that they would do little beyond upholding global norms against the use of poison gas when much more was needed.