The United States launched a massive bombing on Syrian targets this Thursday, with at least 59 guided missiles in response to a chemical weapons attack for which the White House has blamed Syrian leader Bashar al-Asad.

The attack left at least six Syrian soldiers dead and dozens injured, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

A Pentagon source reported that 59 Tomahawk missiles were fired at the Shayrat air base, from where the United States thinks the chemical weapon attack started.

Donald Trump said the attack is most “vital for national security” in the United States. In addition, he called on the “civilized nations” to join the United States to seek an end to the bloodshed in Syria.

“Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack”

– Trump

Homs Governor: Attack Caused Deaths

The governor of Homs, Talal Barazi, assured that the American attack caused many civilian deaths: “There are martyrs, but we do not have a balance either for the martyrs or for the wounded … There are injured who have been burned … there are fires that we try to control … it will take a little time to evaluate the damages, ” Talal Barazi explained.

Six Syrian soldiers were killed on Friday in US bombings in Syria that “almost completely destroyed” the government air base, the SOHR reports.
“We have confirmation of the deaths of four military personnel, including an Air Force brigadier general. There are also dozens injured,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the SOHR.

And accordingly, civilian causalities amounted to 9* confirmed deaths so far.

International Reaction

Russia warned Trump of “negative consequences” if he decided to act against his faithful ally in the region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes the US bombing of an air base of the Syrian regime is an “aggression against a sovereign state” based on “fabricated pretexts,” the Kremlin said and that there is a “considerable injury” to relations between Moscow and Washington.

Russia is the main ally of the Syrian regime and has carried out air strikes since late September 2015 in Syria, where it has deployed airplanes and helicopters against ISIS and Syrian Rebel forces.

“This action by Washington causes considerable damage to relations between the United States and Russia, which are already in an unfortunate state,” declared the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri Peskov.

“But above all, as Putin considers, this action does not address the ultimate goal of the fight against international terrorism, but rather constitutes serious obstacles to the establishment of an international coalition”

– Peskov

Iran “strongly condemns” the US bombing of a Syrian air base, Bahram Ghasemi, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, was quoted by Fars as saying.

Trump’s direct involvement in the Syrian conflict is a twist of US military strategy  in the region after six years of civil war.

“What al-Asad has done is terrible. What has happened in Syria is really a shocking crime,” Trump told reporters before traveling to Florida, where Chinese President Xi Jinping was waiting for him.

“What happened in Syria is a disgrace to humanity, and al-Asad is still there, and I suppose he’s the one who rules, and that’s why I think something must happen,” he said.

Israel, meanwhile, gave its “total” support to the United States, which launched an attack on an air base in Syria, considering that it is a “strong message” that Iran and North Korea should listen to, the Prime Minister said.

“Israel fully supports President Trump’s decision and hopes that this message of determination against the infamous performance of the Bashar al-Asad regime will be heard not only in Damascus, but also in Tehran, Pyongyang and beyond,” according to a statement.

“With word and deed, President Trump sent a strong and clear message: the use and spread of chemical weapons will not be tolerated,” the statement added.

The British government “fully supports” the US attack on the Syrian regime, a Downing Street spokesman said.

Turkey also considers the US attack on a Syrian military base “positive,” Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus was quoted as saying by the pro-government agency Anadolu.

* Update (04/07/17 1:28 PM EST): An earlier version incorrectly amounted the civilian death tool as 89. This was the civilian death toll of the poison attack conducted by the Syrian government the day before.  

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Posted by Manu Belmonte

Economics major at NC State University

One Comment

  1. So, what do you think is going to happen next?

    Like

    Reply

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