Massive Blasts in Damascus As President Announces Attack

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Loud blasts were heard in downtown Damascus in the eastern part of the city Friday evening as the U.S, Britain, and France destroyed chemical warfare facilities in Syria.

Israel has provided the U.S. with intelligence on targets but wanted no part of this fight. B1 bombers were used, joining warships. No additional attacks are planned at this time.

The first wave lasted about 15 minutes and hit a “scientific research center”, according to the Pentagon this evening. Targets were pinpointed to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons capability. It inflicted maximum damage with minimal risk to civilians.

The Pentagon said the research center was a Syrian center for biological warfare research. The other attacks were in a facility used to develop chemical weapons in Homs and a third attack was on a chemical weapons storage facility and a key command post.

They chose those targets to also avoid Russian targets. They did not notify the Russians of the attack beforehand, according to the Pentagon.

Secretary Mattis said Syria absolutely launched the chemical attack on their own people and at least one chemical agent was used.

An unconfirmed report out of the Middle East says the airport in Damascus is completely destroyed.

The antiquated Syrian air force engaged at the onset of the strike and Syrian state TV claims they shot down 13 Tomahawk missiles. The Pentagon could not confirm that.

The President’s Address

The president talked about Bashar al-Assad this evening in his address, calling him a “monster”. He spoke directly to Russia and Iran, asking them why would they associate with monsters.

President Trump does not want the military in the region for long but no timeline was given. His goal is to discourage any use of chemical weapons.

Allies Joined the U.S.

Britain and France joined the United States in the attack, described as a “precision attack”. President Macron of France said Syria is guilty of launching chemical attacks on his own people and they have crossed France’s redline.

British Prime Minister issued a statement published by the NY Times:

This evening I have authorized British armed forces to conduct coordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the Syrian Regime’s chemical weapons capability and deter their use. We are acting together with our American and French allies.

In Douma, last Saturday a chemical weapons attack killed up to 75 people, including young children, in circumstances of pure horror. The fact of this attack should surprise no one. The Syrian Regime has a history of using chemical weapons against its own people in the cruelest and abhorrent way.

And a significant body of information including intelligence indicates the Syrian Regime is responsible for this latest attack. This persistent pattern of behavior must be stopped — not just to protect innocent people in Syria from the horrific deaths and casualties caused by chemical weapons but also because we cannot allow the erosion of the international norm that prevents the use of these weapons. We have sought to use every possible diplomatic channel to achieve this.

But our efforts have been repeatedly thwarted. Even this week the Russians vetoed a Resolution at the UN Security Council which would have established an independent investigation into the Douma attack. So there is no practicable alternative to the use of force to degrade and deter the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Regime. This is not about intervening in a civil war. It is not about regime change. It is about a limited and targeted strike that does not further escalate tensions in the region and that does everything possible to prevent civilian casualties. And while this action is specifically about deterring the Syrian Regime, it will also send a clear signal to anyone else who believes they can use chemical weapons with impunity.

4 COMMENTS

  1. A statement from the W.H. says they relied on media reports, video footage, etc. Really?? THAT”S our Intelligence. I have “low confidence” in anything the Intelligence Community has to tell us. They haven’t been the best at accurate information.

    There HAS been videos showing staging of these attacks in a behind-the-scenes look. Western media have praised the work of the “White Helmets” and there’s ample proof they are behind many of the atrocities. We should therefore ask whether or not it was this group that gave the Pentagon their “confidence”.

    I thought it was the destruction of ISIS that was our ONLY goal for Syria. Now we are engaged in “Mission Creep”. This is how it always starts and will give recruitment support For ISIS. As the Pentagon briefing pointed out the attack was limited to certain sites. Therefore, if ISIS ‘is’ the culprit then the possibility of another occurrence is likely and another response by the US.

    Furthermore, we should ask Why Syria? Is Syria the only country that commits atrocities. Or is it because Russia backs Syria and we, as a country, “need” to be vigilant against Russia. There are widespread atrocities committed by Islamists that go unanswered.

    Are we on the road to effecting regime change. Who would then replace Assad. There is a comparison in Jewish liturgy. A group of Rabbis prayed to have a ruthless dictator removed and got their wish. The person who replaced him made the first seem mild. The details are too lengthy for here but as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for, you may get it. We may end up with something far worse than Lybia turned out to be.

  2. This strategic attack was a multi-country response to Syria’s chemical weapons atrocities that killed innocent women and children. Get over yourself, Greg.

  3. You KNOW that for certain. I watched the Press Conference by PM May and she didn’t say they intelligence that corroborated the chemical attack but “assessed” it was a chemical attack. This is “Government speak” for “assume”. It is the same as the entire Russian conspiracy in that the IC “assessed” their conclusions.

    Why was this attack conducted just before the OPCW was to be on site. The report from the OPCW in the last case found NO chemical attack. Isn’t it rather interesting that there are many videos of the attack last night posted on social media yet NO videos of the “chemical attack” aftermath.

    Given the history of the Intelligence Community and how they have become weaponized I put very little trust in them.

  4. Are we setting up a New Iraq war scenario. Reports are such that Russia is essentially standing down primarily because it hasn’t been referred to as an “act of war”. Israeli sources tell a somewhat different story.

    Saturday morning, while cruise missiles rained down on Syrian chemical sites, a Syrian-Hizballah force, backed by Russian mercenaries, renewed their push to cross the Euphrates River and snatch from US control the east Syrian Konok gas and Al-Umar oil fields.

    Heavy Russian strategic Tu-95 and Tu-22M bombers were deployed Thursday to air bases in Iran, thereby cutting their flying time to Syria and Iraq by at least four hours; and Russian freighters were transiting the Bosporus Straits Friday and Saturday in full sight of intelligence surveillance, laden with new military equipment for the Syrian army.

    We very well may be in a situation where escalation will be inevitable. It could reach a point that significant increase in ground troops is essential. We could be facing an Iran, Iraq, Syria theater of war and we do not have the deployment forces for such an engagement. Considering we are spending 700 Billion for what we DO have what expenditure would it take to accomplish such a scenario. We cannot be comforted in thinking our air power, as deployed yesterday, will suffice in such a theater operation. It “could” result in a WW III.

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