Early on Friday, the US Navy launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a military airbase operated by the Syrian Air Force near the city of Homs.
The launch were made by US warships stationed in the Mediterranean Sea. The missiles hit the military airfield in Ash Sha’irat 38 kilometers southeast of the city of Homs. The missiles delivered a dramatic damage to the aircraft and infrastructure, including the runway.
— Steven nabil (@thestevennabil) April 7, 2017
The number of casualties among Syrian military personnel and civilians is now unclear.
59 Tomahawk missiles hit Shaayrat Airbase and targeted runway, bunkers, ammo/fuel storage sites + air defence systems also reportedly hit
— Hassan Ridha (@sayed_ridha) April 7, 2017
There are no doubts that these strikes will contrinbute to operations of various terrorist groups (like ISIS and Hayat Tahrir al-Sha) in the provinces of Homs and Hama. The Ash Sha’irat airfield played an important role in providing an air suppor to Syrian troops combating terrorists on the ground.
Following the strikes, US President Donald Trump spoke from his Mar-a-Lago resort, accusing the Syrian government of using nerve gas that killed civilians in Idlib’s Khan Sheikhoun.
The Friday strikes were a “response” of the Trump administration to the alleged usage of chemical weapons by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“A total of 59 [Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles] targeted aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems, and radars,” Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said in an official statement, adding that “the US took extraordinary measures to avoid civilian casualties and to comply with the Law of Armed Conflict.”
The Russian state-run news agency “Sputnik” reported on this issue next way:
The United States gave an advanced warning to Russia about the Thursday evening strikes on a Syrian airfield, a Pentagon spokesperson told Sputnik.The warning was communicated through the existing deconfliction channel, the spokesperson confirmed, without giving any details of the missile attack.
Pentagon also said that United States did not target the sections of the airbase where Russian forces were believed to be present.
US President Donald Trump’s national security advisor Herbert McMaster said that the United States has gone out of its way to minimize Russian casualties during the Thursday US missile strike in Syria, but there are no guarantees.
“US took great pains to avoid Russian casualties in Syria but anytime in a military operation, there are no guarantees,” McMaster said after the missile attack.
Also, US Minister of Defense Rex Tillerson claimed that Russia had failed to carry out 2013 agreement to secure Syrian chemical weapons, saying that Moscow was either complicit or incompetent. “We sought no approval from Moscow,” Tillerson said.
Moscow didn’t use its missile defense systems deployed in Syria to oppose the US move.
Russian called for an urgent UN Security Council meeting on the issue.
Another Russian state-run media outlet ‘RT’ on the issue (source):
President Putin “regards the strikes as aggression against a sovereign nation,” his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, noting that the president believes the strikes were carried out “in violation of international law, and also under an invented pretext.”