The United States and its European allies launched airstrikes on Friday night against Syrian research, storage and military targets as President Trump sought to punish President Bashar al-Assad for a suspected chemical attack.
Britain and France joined the United States in the strikes. Mr. Trump characterized it as the beginning of a sustained effort to force Mr. Assad to stop using banned weapons, but only ordered a limited, one-night operation that hit three targets. Syrian state media called the airstrikes a “flagrant violation of international law."The Syrian presidency posted on Twitter: “Honorable souls cannot be humiliated.” There is now the possibility of confrontation with Russia and Iran, both of which were supporting Mr. Assad with military forces. The Russian ambassador to the United States warned of “consequences” for the allied attacks.
The airstrikes on the map
“The purpose of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons. Establishing this deterrent is a vital national security interest of the United States. (...) We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents,” President Trump declared. Other international reactions occurred. “Canada supports the decision by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France to take action to degrade the Assad regime’s ability to launch chemical weapons attacks against its own people,” said Canadian President Justin Trudeau in a statement. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement that the U.N. is closely monitoring reports of airstrikes. He said that "any use of chemical weapons is abhorrent" and "the suffering it causes is horrendous."