The United States has attacked a Syrian airbase with at least 59 cruise missiles in response to a deadly chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun area of Idlib.
Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis quoted in a statement said, “at the direction of the president, U.S. forces conducted a cruise missile strike against a Syrian Air Force airfield today at about 8:40 p.m. EDT (4:40 a.m., April 7, in Syria). The strike targeted Shayrat Airfield in Homs governorate, and was in response to the Syrian government’s chemical weapons attack April 4 in Khan Sheikhoun, which killed or injured hundreds of innocent Syrian people, including women and children.”
The official further added that the strike was conducted using Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs) launched from the destroyers USS Porter and USS Ross in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
According to Capt. Davis, a total of 59 TLAMs targeted aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems, and radars.
“As always, the U.S. took extraordinary measures to avoid civilian casualties and to comply with the Law of Armed Conflict. Every precaution was taken to execute this strike with minimal risk to personnel at the airfield,” he added.
He said the strike was a proportional response to Assad’s heinous act, insisting that the Shayrat Airfield was used to store chemical weapons and Syrian air forces.
According to Pentagon, the U.S. intelligence community assesses that aircraft from Shayrat conducted the chemical weapons attack on April 4. The strike was intended to deter the regime from using chemical weapons again.
He also added that the Russian forces were notified in advance of the strike using the established deconfliction line and U.S. military planners took precautions to minimize risk to Russian or Syrian personnel located at the airfield.