US launches strikes on Syria

Added On April 14, 2018

The United States, Britain and France started military action against Syria's capital Damascus before daybreak Saturday.
It came in response to alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria, which the U.S. believed the Syrian government was responsible for. 
Loud explosions were heard across Damascus.
According to Syrian state TV, the Syrian air defense missiles were launched, reacting to the "U.S., French and British aggression on Syria." 
U.S. President Donald Trump announced the action on Friday.
"My fellow Americans, a short time ago, I ordered the United States Armed Forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now underway. We thank them both."   
Trump also condemned Russia and Iran for their support of the Syrian government, and the failure to stop the alleged attack.
U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford said the U.S. attack targeted multiple sites in Syria, including a research center, a chemical weapon storage facility and a facility in the second target.
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH):JOSEPH DUNFORD, US Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff
"The strike was not only a strong message to the regime that their actions were inexcusable, but it also inflicted maximum damage without unnecessary risk to innocent civilians."
U.S. Defense Chief James Mattis said the attack "right now is a one-time shot" but is not ruling out further attacks.
"We used a little over double the number of weapons this year than we used last year. It was done on targets that we believed were selected to hurt the chemical weapons program. We can find it to the chemical weapons type targets. We were not out to expand this. We were very precise and proportionate but at the same time it was a heavy strike."
British Prime Minister Theresa May on Saturday said the strikes is "to degrade the Syrian Regime's chemical weapons capability and deter their use."
French President Emmanuel Macron said the attack had been limited so far to Syria's chemical weapons facilities.
After the strikes, dozens of syrians took to the Umayyad Square in the heart of Damascus, expressed support to the Syrian army.
"This aggression will not break our determination and we want to tell all the conspirators that we will win through our army, we will win by our air defenses and our people and leader. The Trump missiles will not break our spirit. His missiles will not scare us." 
"We have faith in our army and President Bashar al-Assad as we have won before and we will win today. As university students, we will not fear as long as the Syrian army is protecting us under our leadership."
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for restraint and for countries to avoid any acts that could escalate the situation in Syria.
Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov warned the U.S. strikes on Syria "will not be left without consequences."