US, France, Britain launch strikes on Syria

U.S. President Donald Trump announced the military action from the White House late on Friday. As he spoke, explosions rocked Damascus. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis disclosed that the U.S. had not yet confirmed that the alleged Syrian chemical weapons attack
Saturday, 14 April 2018 04:27

U.S. President Donald Trump announced late Friday that a joint US-British-French attack had been launched on Syria. They fired more than 100 missiles at Syria on Friday in a "one-time shot" the Pentagon said.

"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," Trump said in a primetime televised address to the nation.


Explosions were heard in Damascus just as Trump finishing announcing that the United States is attacking Syria for a fake chemical attack report. Witnesses heard a series of loud blasts in the Syrian capital Damascus as the United States announced it had carried out air strikes along with France and Britain. 

The strikes were carried out by manned aircraft and from ships that launched cruise missiles from the Mediterranean Sea.


U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis disclosed that the U.S. had not yet confirmed that the alleged Syrian chemical weapons attack, on April 7 in the Damascus suburb of Douma, included the use of sarin gas. He said at least one chemical was used - chlorine, which also has legitimate industrial uses and had not previously triggered a U.S. military response.

Mattis and Marine General Joseph Dunford said three facilities were targeted at 9 p.m. EST (1 a.m. GMT) by missiles from both the sea and aircraft, which triggered Syrian air defenses. The Pentagon could not confirm how many missiles hit their targets but said no other attacks were planned.

US, British and French "naval and air assets" took part in the strikes, which Mattis said employed more than twice the amount of munitions used in American strikes in Syria last year, in which 59 Tomahawk missiles were fired. 

The US reportedly used B-1 bombers in the strikes, but the American military declined to provide specifics.

Britain's defense ministry said that four Tornado jets fired Storm Shadow missiles, while the French defense ministry released video footage of Rafale warplanes taking off to carry out the strikes.


Syria fired surface-to-air missiles in response to the attacks but Russia apparently did not, the US said. Syrian air defences shot down 13 missiles fired in the U.S.-led attack on the country, Syrian state TV said. It added the missiles had been shot down in the Kiswah area south of Damascus, the capital.

None of the allied strikes hit the area covered by the Russian air defense shield in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said Saturday.


The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a total of three scientific research centres had been hit in the attacks - two in Damascus and one in the Homs area - in addition to military bases in Damascus.

The Observatory said all the bases and facilities struck in the attack had been evacuated by the Syrian government earlier this week. 


Syrian state media slammed Western strikes as illegal and "doomed to fail." "The aggression is a flagrant violation of international law, a breach of the international community's will, and it is doomed to fail," said state news agency SANA.

"The missiles that targeted a military position in Homs were thwarted and diverted from their path, and injured three civilians," it said. 

Several missiles hit a research centre in Barzeh, north of Damascus, "destroying a building that included scientific labs and a training centre," the report said.