ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – US, British, and French forces pounded Syria with air strikes early on Saturday in response to a poison gas attack that killed at least 70 people last week.
It is the biggest intervention to date by Western powers against the government of Bashar al-Assad.
US President Donald Trump announced the military action late Friday from the White House. As he spoke, explosions rocked the Syrian capital of Damascus. Trump stated that he was prepared to sustain the response until the Syrian government ceased using chemical weapons.
Both French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May announced that their countries had joined in the attack.
May stated on Saturday that she had authorized British forces to carry out precision air-launched cruise missile strikes on Syria to destroy its chemical weapons capability, saying there was no alternative to military action.
According to Britain’s Ministry of Defense, four Royal Air Force Tornado fighter jets using Storm Shadow missiles had taken part in the attack, targeting a military facility near Homs where it had been assessed that Syria has stockpiled chemicals.
In a statement following the military action, Iran’s Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the attack and said the US and its allies "who took military action against Syria despite the absence of any proven evidence ... will assume the responsibility for the regional and trans-regional consequences of this adventurism.”
France’s Defense Minister Florence Parly on Saturday said its joint military operation with the US and Britain against Syria targeted three separate sites and that Russia was informed ahead of time.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense said over 100 missiles were fired at Syria, and that a 'significant number' of rockets were intercepted by Syrian government air defense systems.
Following the attack, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated that the joint operation against the Syrian regime was an appropriate reaction.
Editing by John J. Catherine