Washington: The US, UK and France launched strikes against targets at three sites in Syria in the early hours of Saturday morning, following a week of threats of retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians in Douma.
“I ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapon capabilities of Syrian dictator of Bashar al-Assad,” Trump said late Friday at the White House.
The strikes were launched at 9 p.m. ET, as most of Europe and the Middle East was shrouded in darkness. Photos showed missiles streaking over the night sky in Syria, and witnesses told CNN they heard explosions in the capital Damascus as Trump was making his address.
President Trump on Friday night announced he has directed the U.S. military, in coordination with France and the United Kingdom, to conduct precision strikes in Syria, in response to the chemical weapons attack that left dozens dead on Sunday.
“A short time ago, I ordered the U.S. Armed Forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad,” the president said from the White House.
Mr. Trump claimed the U.S. is “prepared to sustain” a response to curtail Syria until the Syrian regime stops using chemical weapons on its citizens, meaning this might not be the last use of military capabilities in Syria.
Mr. Trump also called out Iran and Russia, saying Syria would not have been able to carry out such an action if Russia had been a responsible nation. Russia has pledged to retaliate if the U.S. strikes Syria. In 2014, then-Secretary of State John Kerry said all chemical weapons had been cleared from Syria, with the aid of Russia.