Over the last several hours, the United States carried out airstrikes in Syria in a joint effort with France and the U.K.
“I ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapon capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad,” said President Donald Trump, in an address Friday night, on April 13.
Trump said the action was taken as result to a chemical weapons attack one year ago as al-Assad ordered on his own people. In response, the United States launched missiles toward targets of the Syrian Air Force. Trump also said the al-Assad regime has established a pattern of chemical weapons use on its innocent civilian population over the last year and most recently in an attack in Douma Syria just last weekend.
“These are not actions of a man,’ Trump said. “They are crimes of a monster instead.”
Trump tweeted shortly after the airstrikes calling the mission a success.
A perfectly executed strike last night. Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2018
Defense Secretary James Mattis gave a briefing on the actions in Syria and said the Syrian regime has continued to ignore international law and use chemical weapons in attacks murdering woman and children and other innocent civilians.
Mattis said the use of military action is authorized under Article II of the Constitution and resulted in the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons research development and production.
“We urge responsible nations to condemn the Assad regime and to join us in our firm resolve to prevent chemical weapons from being used again,” Mattis said.
Method of mission
During the Department of Defense briefing General Joseph F. Dunford said at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time targets struck locations clearly associated with the al-Assad regime’s chemical weapons program with targets selected to minimize civilian casualties.
Dunford said the first targeted was a scientific research center in the Damascus area. Intelligence showed the military facility was actively used in research, development, production and testing of chemical and biological warfare technology.
Second target was a chemical weapons storage facility west of Homs believed to be primary storage location of the regimes sarin and precursor production equipment.
Targeted next to the storage facility west of Homs was a chemical weapons equipment storage facility and an strategic command post.
Dunford clarified the difference between the strikes a year ago and yesterday is the focus on production of the weapons instead of aircraft used as a delivery method of the chemical and biological weapons.
“Important infrastructure was destroyed, which will result in a setback for the Syrian regime. They will lose years of research and development data, specialized equipment and expensive chemical weapons precursors.” said Dunford
Mattis said the airstrikes were met with little retaliatory action as in surface-to-air-missile activity from the Syrian regime. No reports of United States casualties were made.
Although details were not given reports show that manned aircraft as well as naval forces were used in the airstrikes.