US fires dozens of Tomahawks at Syria military base near Homs, Trump cites ’Assad’s chem attack’

US fires dozens of Tomahawks at Syria military base near Homs, Trump cites ’Assad’s chem attack’
The US has launched 50 to 60 Tomahawk missiles against the Syrian military base near Homs after President Donald Trump ordered the strikes in response for the chemical attack in Idlib, blaming the incident on President Bashar Assad.

US ships stationed in the Mediterranean Sea reportedly launched the strike on Syria’s Shayrat airbase on Thursday night local time.

US President Donald Trump spoke from his Mar-a-Lago resort following the airstrikes, accusing Assad of using nerve gas that killed civilians in Idlib.

Calling it a “targeted military strike,” Trump said the Homs airfield was where the chemical gas attack earlier this week originated from.

Trump described the attack as defending a “vital national security interest” and called upon “civilized nations” to help end the “slaughter and bloodshed in Syria.”

“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,” Trump said. “Years of previous attempts at changing Assad’s behaviour have all failed and failed very dramatically.”

Fifty-nine US Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles were launched from the US warships USS Porter and USS Ross from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said in a statement. Davis added that “extraordinary measures” were taken “to avoid civilian casualties,” and that “every precaution was taken” to minimize the “risk to personnel at the airfield.”

The Pentagon has released photos of Tomahawk missiles, showing the moment they were being launched from the US warships in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea to Syria.

Посмотреть изображение в ТвиттереПосмотреть изображение в Твиттере

Pentagon releases first pictures of Tomahawk cruise missiles launching from US Navy warships on strike in

Speaking live on Al-Mayadeen TV, the governor of Homs province Talal Barazi said that there were five dead and seven injured in the strike on airbase.

Barazi said said American strike at the Syrian army installation was helping terrorist forces.

READ MORE: At least 2 civilians, 3 soldiers killed by US missile strike on Syrian airbase – Homs governor

“Syrian leadership and Syrian policy will not change,” Talal Barazi said in a phone interview with state television, as cited by Reuters. “This targeting was not the first and I don’t believe it will be the last.”

Syria’s state SANA news agency cited a military source on the ground as confirming the strike and claiming that it resulted in casualties.

PENTAGON: At direction of POTUS, U.S. forces conducted cruise missile strike against a Syrian Air Force airfield today at about 8:40 pm EDT

The airfield was allegedly targeted after the US blamed the Syrian military for the chemical incident in Idlib, in which dozens of civilians died from suspected gas poisoning in the rebel-occupied territory. Up to 86 people, including 26 children, are alleged to have been killed. Several Western states have immediately pinned the blame on Assad’s forces, while Russia said Syrian jets bombed a warehouse where chemical weapons were being produced.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has accused Russia of failing to carry out the 2013 agreement to secure Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, claiming Moscow was either incompetent or complicit. However, the responsibility to remove and destroy the weapons was never laid on Moscow. The Organization for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was charged with the task and has been verifying that Damascus kept its part of the bargain jointly with the UN.

READ MORE: Russia calls for UN Security Council talks on Idlib ‘chemical attack’ resolution

Tillerson claimed that the US had high degree of confidence that sarin gas has been used in the alleged chemical attack. He did not offer explanation as to why the people responding to the incident were apparently not affected by sarin despite not wearing any protection gear, as footage released by the activists suggested.

Video footage allegedly capturing the moment of the strike has emerged on social media, reportedly filmed by a resident near Shayrat airbase. Repeated loud noises, allegedly from explosions, can be heard in the video and bright sparks are seen moving across the dark sky.

The Lebanon-based CEO of AlMasdar News, Leith Abou Fadel, reported on Twitter that the strike has resulted in no casualties among the Syrian or Russian military, adding that the missiles targeted the same area on the airfield.

READ MORE: Rebel warehouse with chem weapons hit by Syrian airstrike in Idlib – Russian MOD

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At least 2 civilians, 3 soldiers killed by US missile strike on Syrian airbase – Homs governor

At least 2 civilians, 3 soldiers killed by US missile strike on Syrian airbase – Homs governor
The governor of Homs province, Talal Barazi, said the US strike on a Syrian airfield has led to civilian casualties in a village near the base, as well as the airbase itself. At least five people have been left dead and seven wounded, he told RT.

Two civilians and three military personnel were killed in the strike.

The American missile attack on Syria won’t topple its government or change the policies of Damascus, he said after a barrage of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles targeted a Syrian airfield located there.

LIVE UPDATES: US missile strike against Syria

“The Syrian leadership and Syrian policy will not change,” Talal Barazi said in a phone interview with Syrian state television. “This targeting was not the first and I don’t believe it will be the last.”

He added that Shayrat airbase will be rebuilt and continue to play a role in fighting terrorists.

Earlier, Barazi told Reuters that firefighting and rescue operations were under way at the Shayrat airfield after the US attack, but that he believed that there were not many casualties on the ground.

Barazi said Washington’s escalation of the conflict in Syria only served terrorist groups such as Islamic State.

The governor said that the base played a significant role in the recent capture of the city of Palmyra from IS.

The Syrian state TV called the attack “American aggression”.

On Friday, US warships in the eastern Mediterranean fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at the Syrian airfield, with Pentagon claiming that it was used in a chemical weapons attack against a rebel-held town in Idlib province on Tuesday.

The retaliation came before the UN or the OPCW, the chemical weapons watchdog, could investigate the incident. Washington sided with the rebel-linked activists, which accused Damascus of killing civilians with toxic gas.


Putin believes US attack on Syria violates international law – spokesman

Putin believes US attack on Syria violates international law – spokesman
President Putin “regards the strikes as aggression against a sovereign nation,” his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, noting that the president believes the strikes were carried out “in violation of international law, and also under an invented pretext.”

LIVE UPDATES: US missile strike against Syria

Peskov also insisted that “the Syrian army doesn’t have chemical weapons,” saying this had been “observed and confirmed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, a special UN unit.”

Putin sees the US missile strike on Syria as an attempt to distract attention from civilian casualties in Iraq, Peskov added.

“This step deals significant damage to US-Russian ties, which are already in a deplorable state,” Peskov said.

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