Over 100 cruise missiles used in airstrikes on 8 sites; Trump: the nations of Britain, France, and the United States of America have marshaled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality; Putin: Russia strongly condemns the attack on Syria where Russian servicemen are helping the legitimate government in the war on terrorism.
The United States, France and the United Kingdom carried out airstrikes in Syria Saturday in response to the Assad regime’s chemical attack on Douma last weekend.
Eight sites were targeted with over 100 cruise missiles that were launched by US, British and French fighter jets as well as from an American warship, in what President Trump referred to as “the nations of Britain, France, and the United States of America have marshaled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality.”
United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford confirmed the first attack was on the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center which has been active in creating and testing chemical weapons. A second and third targets were on chemical weapons storage facilities, as well as a military command post. Mattis stated following the mission, “Clearly, the Assad regime did not get the message last year. Together we have sent a clear message to Assad and his murderous lieutenants that they should not perpetrate another chemical weapons attack for which they will be held accountable.”
President Trump gave a televised address following the attacks, stating “a short time ago, I ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now under way. We thank them both.”
Speaking of the attacks which killed dozens, he stated “Last Saturday, the Assad regime again deployed chemical weapons to slaughter innocent civilians – this time in the town of Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus. This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very terrible regime. The evil and the despicable attack left mother and fathers, infants and children thrashing in pain and gasping for air. These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster instead.”
The president clarified the reasons for the coordinated attacks stating “The purpose of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread, and use of chemical weapons. Establishing this deterrent is a vital national security interest of the United States. The combined American, British, and French response to these atrocities will integrate all instruments of our national power- military, economic, and diplomatic. We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents.”
Addressing Russia and Iran, he asked “To Iran, and to Russia, I ask: What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women, and children?,” adding “The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep. No nation can succeed in the long run by promoting rogue states, brutal tyrants, and murderous dictators.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin quickly condemned the attacks, reporting that “Russia strongly condemns the attack on Syria where Russian servicemen are helping the legitimate government in the war on terrorism.” He announced that Russia would call for an “urgent session of the UN Security Council to discuss aggressive actions of the United States and its allies.”
The White House released its assessment on the chemical attack, citing diverse and concrete evidence, as well as “reliable information indicating coordination between Syrian military officials before the attack.” It also reported “a significant body of information points to the regime using chlorine in its bombardment of Duma, while some additional information points to the regime also using the nerve agent sarin.”
Amir will address the situation during his Middle East Current Events Update tonight, Saturday, April 14, 2018 at 9:00 pm (Thessaloniki time), 2:00 pm (EST), 11:00 am (PST).