Thursday night the United States launched 59 tomahawk cruise missiles from the U.S. Navy warships USS Porter and USS Ross at a Syrian airbase located at Shayrat. The Trump administration believes that the base was the origination of the chemical gas attack which killed over 70 civilians. This is President Trump’s first major military action.
President Trump said that the strike on Syria is “in the vital national security interest” of the United States. He addressed the nation Thursday night (full remarks below) stating how Syrian President Assad launched a chemical attack on his own people and that the U.S. must prevent the spread and use of chemical weapons. It appears that regime change is now a medium to long-term high priority for the Trump administration.
Syrian state TV is calling the attack an “aggression.” Russia was notified before the strike.
Fox News reports:
DEVELOPING – The United States launched dozens of cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield early Friday in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of civilians, the first direct assault on the Damascus government since the beginning of that country’s bloody civil war in 2011.
At least 50 U.S. Tomahawk missiles targeted an airbase at Shayrat, located outside Homs. It is believed that the base was used as a staging point for Tuesday’s chemical weapons attack on rebel-held territory, which killed as many as 72 civilians, including women and children.
The use of Tomahawk missiles meant that the strikes did not target air defense systems manned by Russian troops. The Assad regime is strongly backed by Russia and Iran.
US defense officials tell Fox that two warships based in the eastern Mediterranean, the USS Porter and the USS Ross, have been training for the past two days to execute this mission.
Earlier American Military News reported that President Trump was considering options drafted up by Secretary of Defense Mattis and National Security Advisor McMaster to strike Syria.