Early on Saturday morning U.S., France, and Britain in a joint attack launched more than 100 cruise missiles on Syrian chemical weapons close to Damascus and at least three other suspected areas. Syrian media monitored by VOSA says that several people have been killed and injured.
According to reports the Western States Air Force and Cruise missiles hit at least three targets: the Mezza military airport outside Damascus, Arzza and the Jamarya “research center”.
The Reseach Center was also hit by Israel some time ago. Two other chemical sites near Homs were also among the first targets.
Earlier President Donald Trump announced said he had approved US military strikes against Syria in collaboration with the UK and France in response to a chemical attack that killed more than 70 people. Trump spoke in a television statement early Saturday, April 14, as explosions were heard in Damascus. Syrian media reported that at least 13 incoming missiles were intercepted by air defence system.
Russia said the action would not be left “without consequences.” Trump explained that the strikes would target the regime’s ability to use chemical weapons and the three allies were willing to carry out “sustained pressure on Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president until he agreed not to use chemical weapons in the future.”
UK Prime Minister Theresa May issued a statement confirming she had ordered airstrikes to punish the Syrian regime’s “cruel and abhorrent” behavior while French President Emmanuel Macron said: “We cannot tolerate the normalization of the use of chemical weapons.” Syrian state TV said the attack was being confronted by the pro-Damascus “anti-terror axis.”
Syria’s official news agency SANA reported that the tripartite aggression targeted the Research Center in Barzeh, adding that the Air defense confronted a number of missiles that targeted warehouses of the Syrian Arab Army in Homs.
According to latest reports the US-led attack also hit a site in Masyaf, about 170 km (100 miles) north of Damascus, army depots in the eastern Qalamoun region northeast of the capital, the Kisweh area south of Damascus, and a site in the Qasyoun hills overlooking the capital.
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Marine General Joseph Dunford said three main chemical weapons 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.
Mattis and Dunford acknowledged the strike was designed to degrade Syria’s chemical weapons capability without killing civilians or the many foreign fighters in Syria’s multi-sided civil war, particularly those from Russia.
Mattis acknowledged that the United States waged the attacks only with conclusive evidence that chlorine gas was used in the April 7 attack in Syria.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Defence Ministry claimed that “not a single missile of those launched against Damascus ventured into the zones of Russian air defenses in Tartus and Hmeymim.”
The Russian statement said that ‘the missile strike against Syria’s military and civilian infrastructures was carried out by US planes and naval ships in cooperation with British and French air forces between 03:42 and 05:10 Moscow time on Saturday.”