US President Donald Trump ordered a massive military strike against Syria Thursday in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack they blame on President Bashar al-Assad.
A US official said 59 precision guided missiles hit Shayrat Airfield in Syria, where Washington believes Tuesday’s deadly attack was launched.
Ahead of the strike, President Donald Trump called for “all civilized nations” to work to end the bloodshed in Syria, after launching a massive strike against the regime in retaliation for a chemical attack.
“On Tuesday, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians using a deadly nerve agent,” Trump said Thursday in a televised address from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
“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. “We hope that as long as America stands for justice, then peace and harmony will in the end prevail.”
The US military strike on a Syrian air base caused losses, a Syrian military source told state television Friday without providing further details.
“One of our air bases in the centre of the country was targeted at dawn by a missile fired by the United States, causing loses,” said the source, who had earlier described the strike as an act of “aggression”.
“My fellow Americans: On Tuesday, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians.
“Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women, and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror.
“Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.
“There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and ignored the urging of the UN Security Council.
“Years of previous attempts at changing Assad’s behavior have all failed, and failed very dramatically. As a result, the refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilize, threatening the United States and its allies.
“Tonight, I call on all civilized nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria, and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types.
“We ask for God’s wisdom as we face the challenge of our very troubled world. We pray for the lives of the wounded and for the souls of those who have passed. And we hope that as long as America stands for justice, then peace and harmony will, in the end, prevail.
The United States warned Russia ahead of a massive military strike on a Syrian regime air base, the Pentagon said Thursday.
“Russian forces were notified in advance of the strike using the established deconfliction line,” Navy Captain Jeff Davis said, referring to a special military hotline.
“US military planners took precautions to minimize risk to Russian or Syrian personnel located at the airfield.
Nine Planes Destroyed
Nine planes as well as munition and fuel depots were destroyed in the US strike on Syria’s Shayrat airbase early Friday but the runway was intact, the Russian state channel Rossiya24 reported from the scene.
“According to preliminary information, nine Syrian airplanes were destroyed,” its correspondent said in a report from the base, broadcast hours after the strike at 0040 GMT Friday.
Stores with ammunition and fuel were also targeted, he said, adding that a fire and some explosions were ongoing.
“But not all equipment has been destroyed, there is some that was not impacted by the strike,” the correspondent said.
“The landing strip… is practically not impacted,” he added.
Footage showed the runway intact but covered in debris, as well as two planes sitting in concrete hangars.
The aircraft were apparently not heavily damaged while some other hangars were charred and surrounded by rubble.
Moscow slammed the attack ordered by US President Donald Trump as “thoughtless” and called it “aggression against a sovereign state” that violated international norms.
Trump ordered the strike in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack Tuesday after the UN Security Council failed to agree on a probe into the bombing that killed at least 86 people.
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