|In a surprising development The United States launched a military strike on Thursday, targeting the Syrian government airbase. The strike, executed using 59 Tomahawk missiles, is a response to a chemical weapons attack in Syria earlier this week, which killed more than 80 civilians.An official statement by The Pentagon reveals further details regarding the strike. "A total of 59 (Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles) targeted aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems, and radars," Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said in a statement. "As always, the U.S. took extraordinary measures to avoid civilian casualties and to comply with the Law of Armed Conflict."|
The strike may complicate the U.S relations with Russia even further. Russia remains a strong supporter of the Assad regime in Syria. Friday the New York Times reported that as a response to the strike Russia froze an important military cooperation agreement with the United States in Syria. More actions from the Russians are expected. Russia also said it would help strengthen Syria’s air defense systems.
President Trump condemned Assad’s chemical attack before the strike. "On Tuesday, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians. Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack," Trump said Thursday night.
The reaction of the Syrian government was to deny any wrongdoing. A statement from the office of President Bashar al-Assad claimed that the chemical weapons attack in Idlib Province was the result of “a false propaganda campaign.