U.S., U.K. and France Launch Airstrikes on Syria
The United States, the United Kingdom and France targeted Syria with military strikes early Saturday in response to last weekend’s suspected poison gas attack on the town of Douma, Reuters reported.
The attack marks the single largest intervention by western powers against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since the start of the conflict.
An unidentified U.S. official told Reuters that Tomahawk cruise missiles struck multiple targets. General Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the targets included a Syrian research facility and a chemical weapons storage facility.
It was not immediately clear which military facility was targeted, but an unidentified witness told Reuters the strikes targeted the Barzeh district of Damascus, which is the location of a major Syrian scientific research center.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced the “precision strikes” from the White House on Friday evening. He said the targets were “associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.”
“The purpose of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons,” Trump said.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said the “limited and targeted strike” aimed at minimizing civilian casualties. Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said that, as of now, the strikes are a “one-time shot,” according to the Associated Press.