What We Know About The Strikes In Syria

Ronald Pratt
April 15, 2018

The strikes were conducted by the USA, the United Kingdom and France following a suspected chemical attack on the town of Douma, which left an estimated 70 people dead.

US President Donald Trump, in a televised statement, announced the launch of military action against Bashar al-Assad's regime.

As he spoke, at least six loud explosions were heard in Damascus on Saturday and smoke was seen rising over the Syrian capital.

Trump says that last Saturday, Syrian President Bashar Assad deployed chemical weapons in what was a "significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very awful regime".

- Prime Minister Theresa May said the decision to launch the strikes was not taken lightly, but she believed it to be in the UK's national interest.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been backed in the seven-year-long Syrian war by Russia, Iran, and Iran-backed Shi'ite groups from across the region, including Lebanon's Hezbollah.

Syrian state TV described the strikes as a "flagrant violation" of global law.

"The barbaric aggression ...will not affect in any way the determination and insistence of the Syrian people and their heroic armed forces", state media quoted an official ministry source as saying.

The current escalation of the situation in Syria "has a destructive effect on the whole system of worldwide relations", the Kremlin said.

Experts from the world's global chemical arms watchdog are continuing their mission to probe an alleged gas attack in Douma despite Western air strikes in Syria, the body said Saturday. Kenneth McKenzie said on Saturday during a press briefing at the Pentagon about the strikes carried out on Friday. A second witness said the Barzah district of Damascus had been hit in the strikes.

Syrian air defenses responded to the joint strikes by the US, France and Britain.

Australia, Canada, England win Commonwealth Games pool golds
The hosts lit up the track, posting a time of 4min 17.218sec, a Games record, and were over five seconds head of the Kiwis in qualifying.

A chemical weapons equipment storage facility and command post near Homs.

The Pentagon officials also said that the "Syrian chemical weapons system is larger than the three targets hit in Syria".

'A perfectly executed strike last night.

"Such attacks will not deter our armed forces and allied forces from persisting to crush what is left of the armed terrorist groups", the military said.
The base is where planes allegedly had launched chemical attacks.

Following the strikes, Russian Federation called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to address the military campaign.

A United States official told Reuters the strikes were aimed at multiple targets and involved Tomahawk cruise missiles. It said air defenses confronted the attack and had shot down 13 missiles in the Kiswah area south of Damascus.

Syria and Russian Federation have condemned the air strike, denying President Bashar Assad's forces did not use chemical weapons.

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, condemned Russian Federation on Friday over its support for Assad, saying before the U.N. security council that "Russia alone" was responsible for enabling the Syrian strongman.

"What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?"

The attack also drew criticism from many of Trump's most ardent supporters in the US.