UPDATE: 4/7/17, 3 A.M.
The United States launched 59 cruise missiles Thursday night at a Syrian airfield in response to what it believes was Syria’s use of banned chemical weapons that killed at least 100 people, the U.S. military said.
Two U.S. warships in the Mediterranean Sea, the USS Ross and the USS Porter, fired 59 Tomahawk missiles intended for a single target — Shayrat Airfield in Homs province in western Syria, the Defense Department said. That’s the airfield from which the United States believes the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fired the banned weapons.
The missiles were sent at 3:40 a.m. local time in the Mediterranean Sea, according to Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis.
Syrian state media reports six were killed, and several wounded. It also reports the missiles caused “material damage” to the airfield.
These represent the first direct strikes against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad during his country’s six-year civil war. Previously, the United States has been focusing its military efforts on taking down key ISIS leaders and strongholds.
Britain, Australia, Israel and Saudi Arabia say they’re backing the military move, but Iran strongly condemned it. Russian officials called it an aggression and said it would call for an emergency United Nations meeting. Moscow is also threatening to shut down all military cooperation with the US.
President Donald Trump said there is no dispute that Syria used chemical weapons last week, which broke international agreements.
Former Secretary of State and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton commented on the attack at a Women in the World Summit Thursday, stating “I really believe that we should’ve and still should take out his airfields and prevent him from being able to use them to bomb innocent people and drop sarin gas on them.”
Former Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio said of the attack, “Well my first reaction is to congratulate the skill, the courage, the bravery of our men and women in uniform. The second is, and I saw as kind of the report was being outlined, I don’t believe this is a message. I believe this is actually a tactical action that furthers an objective, which is important.” He continued, “This will degrade their capability to launch those attacks from the air and i think it was important step and hopefully it’s part of a comprehensive strategy moving forward to bring to a close this chaos that is happening in Syria.”
A large question looming in the minds of many Americans, is how Russian President Vladimir Putin will react to the military action. Russian state media has already stated Putin sees the action as “aggression” and “violation of norms of international law.”
This story is developing. Read more at NBCNEWS.com.
APRIL 6, 2017
NBC has confirmed that the US has fired at least 50 Tomahawk missiles, intended for a single target, Ash Sha’irat in Homs province in Western Syria, officials said.
This is where the United States believes that the government of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad fired the banned weapons.