US, France and UK launch strikes on Syria over chemical wons attack
WASHINGTON: US Presi nt Donald Trump on Friday ordered precision strikes targeting Syrian Presi nt Bashar al-Assad's chemical wons capabilities, as explosions were heard in the Syrian capital of Dscus.
Trump said a combined operation with France and Britain was under way and that they were prepared to sustain the response until Syria stopped its use of chemical wons. The operation by the three allies came after a poison gas attack in Syria that killed at least 60 people last week.
"A short time ago, I ordered the United States Armed Forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical wons capabilities of Syrian dic or Bashar al-Assad," Trump said in a televised address from the White House.
A US offi al told Reuters the strikes were aimed at multiple targets and involved Tomahawk cruise missiles.
"These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster instead," Trump said referring to Assad and his suspected role in the chemical wons attacks.
"The purpose of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent ag inst the production, spread and use of chemical wons," Trump said.
The US presi nt had sharply critical words for both Russia and Iran, which have backed Assad's go nment.
"To Iran and to Russia, I ask, what kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?" Trump said.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said she had authorized British armed forces "to conduct co-ordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the Syrian re gie's chemical wons capability."
The military action is not about intervening in Syria's civil war or changing its go nment, she said.
Presi nt Emmanuel Macron said that France had joined the US and Britain in an ongoing operation ag inst Syria with strikes to target "the capacities of the Syrian re gie to produce and use chemical wons".
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a scientific research centre and military bases in Dscus were struck in the attack by the United States and allies.