Missiles to Syria
The United States launched 59 cruise missiles against a military airfield in Syria following a chemical weapons attack Tuesday that left nearly 70 dead.
It is the first direct American assault on the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since that country’s civil war began six years ago.
Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin reported that the Tomahawk missile strikes were fired from warships in the Mediterranean Sea.
They destroyed portions of the military infrastructure of the Assad government, which U.S. officials are confident is behind the chemical attack.
The target was reportedly an airbase at Shayrat, located outside Homs.
Griffin reported 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.
She said the original plans called for two targets, the airbase and a chemical weapons storage facility. However, Pentagon planners decided late Thursday to target just the airbase.
Speaking at his Mar-a-Lago resort, President Donald Trump said the airstrikes were in the “vital national security interest” of the U.S.
The airstrikes could expose the U.S. to heightened risk of direct confrontation with Russia and Iran, as both countries are allies of Assad.
Fox News’ John Roberts reported that Trump did not call Russian President Vladimir Putin before launching the missiles.
“There was no direct contact between the president and Vladimir Putin,” Roberts said. “Though we should probably say that the posture of the United States over the past few hours has been such that any military leader worth their salt would probably get a good idea that something was on the way.”
Fifty-nine Tomahawk missiles, launched before dawn from warships in the eastern Mediterranean, threatened hopes for Russian-American rapprochement just ahead of the first major meeting between Washington, which has armed anti-Assad rebels, and Moscow, which has held Assad up against them.