WASHINGTON – After the orders of President Donald Trup, the United States has launched missile strikes on Friday targeting a Syrian airbase controlled by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town.
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According to Pentagon official, about 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from Navy destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean at the airbase.
Earlier , US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had said Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad should have no role in a future Syria.
A British monitoring group claimed, “The airbase was almost completely destroyed — the runway, the fuel tanks and the air defences were all blown to pieces”. At least four soldiers killed during the strike.
Trump ordered the attack just a day after he expressed anger at Assad for this week’s chemical attack, which killed at least 80 people, many of them children, in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun. However, the Syrian government has denied it was behind the attack.
Trump, who was attending a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Florida resort, said earlier on Thursday that “something should happen” with Assad as the White House and Pentagon studied military options.
It was an “affront to humanity”, Trump said in a statement on Thursday, adding: “When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, little babies… that crosses… many lines.”
“I now have responsibility [for U.S. involvement with Syria], and I will have that responsibility and carry it very proudly.”
Asked during a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah at the White House whether he was formulating a new policy towards Syria, Mr Trump told reporters, “You’ll see.”
The US military action put the new president at odds with Russia, which has air and ground forces in Syria after intervening there on Assad’s side in 2015 and turning the tide against rebel groups.