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| Dhaka, Wednesday, 17 January 2018

US launches cruise missile strike on Syria

2017-04-07 16:12:21
US launches cruise missile strike on Syria Desk:

The United States has fired a barrage of cruise missiles into Syria in retaliation for this week's chemical weapons attack against civilians.

It was the first direct American assault on the Syrian Government, and Donald Trump's most dramatic military order since becoming president.

About 60 US Tomahawk missiles, fired from warships in the Mediterranean Sea, targeted an air base in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack that American officials believe Syrian Government aircraft launched with a nerve agent, possibly sarin.

The targets at the Government-controlled Shayrat base, in central Syria, were an airstrip, aircraft and fuel stations, a US official said.

The base was where US officials say the Syrian military planes that dropped the chemicals had taken off.

The missiles hit early Friday morning, local time, with the US military claiming it appeared the strikes severely damaged or destroyed Syrian aircraft as well as support infrastructure and equipment.

The Russian Defence Ministry said the attack destroyed six planes in repair hangers, but said only 23 of the rockets hit the target and it was not clear where the other 36 landed, according to Russian news agencies.

In a statement, the Syrian military accused the US of "blatant aggression" in the strike it said killed six people.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack killed at least four Syrian soldiers, including a general, in its report which it said was based on its own sources.

Talal Barazi, the governor of Syria's Homs province, told the Associated Press civilians were among the casualties, but did not give precise numbers.

"The use of chemical weapons against innocent people will not be tolerated," the Pentagon said in a statement, adding the strike was intended to deter the regime from using chemical weapons again.

The President's national security adviser, General HR McMaster, said Mr Trump was given three options for possible responses to the chemical attack and told advisers to focus on two. He made a decision the day before the strikes.

State-controlled Syrian television station al-Ikhbariyah aired what it described as exclusive footage showing the aftermath of the attack.

The video shows a fast sequence of orange flashes that light the dark sky in the distance before the crack of dawn.

Source: ABC News

Ends/ 07, 2017

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