US unleashes dozens of missiles on Syria in response to chemical attack
| NY Post
“The US fired a more than 50 cruise missiles at Syrian air fields Thursday night in response to the Assad regime’s devastating gas attacks against civilians earlier this week.
President Donald Trump authorized the strikes on two airfields in the Western part of the country that had apparently been used to launch the deadly gas attacks.
Speaking from his resort in Florida, Trump said the attack was in the nation’s “vital national security interest” and that the US must “prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.
Trump added that there is “no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons.”
About 60 tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from a number of warships stationed in the Mediterranean Sea.
Trump had been critical of the idea of taking military action in the region, but reportedly changed his mind this week when confronted with the graphic evidence of Syrian children who were victims of the deadly attack by an apparent nerve agent.”
More @ NY Post
Syrian Air Force Bases |
| Minus Shayat AFB – today.
US Launches Cruise Missile Strike on Syria
Military.com | |
“On President Donald Trump’s order, U.S. warships in the eastern Mediterranean Sea on Thursday launched salvos of Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base in response to the deadly chemical attack on civilians in northwestern part of the country, the Pentagon said.
Some 59 missiles were launched from the Navy‘s Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Porter (DDG-78) and USS Ross (DDG-71), a defense official said in a background briefing with reporters Thursday night at the Pentagon.
“Dozens of cruise missiles were launched,” the official said.
A subsequent email from the Pentagon said the strike occurred around 4:40 a.m. April 7 (local time) at the Shayrat airfield in central Syria and targeted supply bunkers, air defense systems, and radars.
The attack marked the first U.S. military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has been supported by Russia.
“Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children … No child of God should ever suffer such horror,” Trump said in a statement. “It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.”
Trump, who was meeting Thursday with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the U.S. president’s estate in Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, gave the order after a briefing earlier in the day with Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Adviser Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.
Earlier, Trump had indicated that he was leaning towards a military response to the suspected nerve agent attack on Tuesday in northwestern Idlib province that killed at least 70, according to human rights and aid groups.
The Force Management Levels, or limits, on U.S. military personnel set by the Obama administration currently stand at 503 for Syria and 5,262 Iraq. However, those numbers do not include troops on so-called “temporary assignment.”
Currently in Syria, a small contingent of Army Rangers and Stryker combat vehicles is in the northeastern town of Manbij temporarily to discourage any attempt to take the town by a combined Syrian and Russian force on the outskirts.
In addition, about 200 Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, also on temporary assignment, are near the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa to set up an firing base for M777 howitzers.
In Iraq, about 200 troops from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division recently were sent to northeastern Iraq to support the train, advise and assist mission of U.S. troops with the Iraqi Security Forces battling to retake Mosul.
U.S. troops on the ground in Syria have ready access to chemical weapons protective suits but were not wearing them as a precaution following the suspected Syrian air force nerve gas attack, a U.S. military spokesman said Thursday.
“All forces have access to chemical gear” in Syria and in Iraq, Army Col. Joseph Scrocca said in fielding questions on the impact for U.S. troops of Trump’s statements suggesting that the U.S. might take action. “None of our forces currently are wearing them.”
This story will be updated.”
….Continue reading @ Military.com
Donald Trump launches US air strikes against Assad regime in Syria with 59 Tomahawk missiles as military intervention begins
| Telegraph UK
“Retired General John Allen, the US envoy to the anti-Isil coalition under Barack Obama, has told Ruth Sherlock that the missile attack is intended to punish but not defeat Assad – and that this will not damage America’s relationship with Russia.
Gen Allen said that this is a relatively small target. “The damage to Assad is psychological more than physical,” he said.
“It will be stunning to Assad” that America has acted in this way, and “he will now have to think carefully every time” time he wants to launch attacks on his civilian population, Gen Allen said.”
….Continue reading much more @ Telegraph UK