U.S. Launches Limited, Targeted Attack on Syria

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USS Porter

NBC News is reporting that about 60 Tomahawk missiles have been fired from the USS Porter and the USS Ross at the Ash Sha’irat airbase in Homs, Syria in limited, targeted attacks. Ash Sha’irat is the airfield from which the Syrian government fired banned chemical weapons on civilians Tuesday. The U.S. also fired on chemical weapon depots and landing sites where the weapons are believed to be stored.

The U.S. warned Russia prior to the attack according to CNBC. There were multiple warnings in conversations with the Russians today. There were Russians at the stricken base but they were warned.

USS Ross

It’s a warning, not war

This is a warning to the Syrian government that the U.S. will not underwrite use of chemical weapons any longer. The attack was limited and did not include all six bases because this is only a warning.

The strike was in the middle of the night to reduce casualties and it happened as the President said goodnight to the President of China.

The NY Times is reporting that this is a surprise attack and that was part of the message — there is a new leader in the U.S.

The U.S. has high confidence that it was Assad who launched the attack from fixed-wing aircraft. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley bluntly blamed Syria. Tillerson told reporters on Thursday that “there is no doubt in our minds”.

Trump calls for the world to end the bloodshed

Trump called on “civilized nations” to join the U.S. in “seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria.” Assad “choked out the helpless”, he said this evening at a brief press conference.

There are 100,000 Iranian troops on the ground near the sites that have been struck. Russian troops are embedded there with Syrian military.

Another 1,000 U.S. troops are on the ground in Syria and 6,000 are in Mosul, Iraq, but they are nowhere near the strike location. Russians and Syrian military will not attack U.S. troops. It’s very low risk to U.S. military.

On Tuesday, Bashar al-Assad unleashed Sarin gas in Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province which killed more than 100 people, and more than 30 children.

About Assad, President Trump said earlier today, “He’s running things so something should happen.”

Russia’s support for Assad is “not unconditional”

Trump wants Russia to reconsider their support of Assad.

Russia defended Assad in a phone call with Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu, but Sky News is reporting that Russia has said its support for Syrian president Bashar al Assad is “not unconditional”.

The “not unconditional” comment from President Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov comes after the Russian leader said it was unacceptable to make “groundless” accusations over the attack.

A statement later issued by the Kremlin said the Russian President had “highlighted that it was unacceptable to make groundless accusations against anyone without conducting a detailed and unbiased investigation”.

The Russians did warn the U.S. that there would be negative consequences for a strike.

Nikki Haley responded, saying, “Russia cannot escape responsibility for this. They chose to close their eyes to the barbarity. They defied the conscience of the world.”

Secretary of state Tillerson is forming a coalition to unseat Assad

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has stepped in and told reporters in Palm Beach, Florida, Thursday that a coalition is being formed internationally to remove Assad from power.

“Steps are underway,” he said, condemning the Sarin gas attack in Syria.

“Assad’s role in the future is uncertain and with the acts he has taken, it would seem that there would be no role for him to govern the Syrian people.”

What happens when he’s gone? Who takes his place? Iran is ready to install their own puppet. Is there a follow up plan? Leave it be.


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