The US, UK & France Launched Airstrikes In Syria In Response To Chemical Attack

After last week's suspected chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma that led to the deaths of dozens, US, British, and French forces launched "more than 100 missiles" against the Damascus government late Friday night. The targeted areas were at the "very heart of Syria's chemical weapon program," Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie said on Saturday.

Regarding their success, CNN reported that Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said on Saturday morning the strikes "successfully hit every target" and the countries "took every measure and caution" to only hit the intended targets. "Last night, operations were very successful," White said. "We met our objectives. We hit the sites, the heart of the chem-weapons program. So it was mission accomplished."

President Trump echoed the statement in a tweet.

Though Trump said that he's prepared to sustain this sort of response if Syria doesn't stop using prohibited chemical agents, US Defense Secretary James Mattis said the missiles were a "one-time shot" and intended to deter the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. 

According to CNN, the Pentagon was not aware of any civilian causalities as of Saturday morning; however, Syria state TV claimed that three civilians were wounded. The Pentagon also said that no American troops were killed.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron issued statements on the airstrikes, both reiterating that the missiles were limited to certain areas. May added that she has no intention of "toppling Assad or intervening more widely in the war," according to Reuters

Iran, Russia and Syria itself condemned the attacks. Vox reported that "both Russia and Syria claimed on Saturday that 'a significant number' of the missiles launched at Syria were shot down, although the Pentagon disputes that." 

Russian president Vladimir Putin said there was no evidence of last week's chemical attack, and called the airstrikes an "act of aggression" that would "have a destructive effect on the entire system of international relations." He also called an emergency session of the UN security council. According to Al Jazeera, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini called the strikes "a crime." 

People on both sides of the political spectrum discussed the airstrikes on Twitter, with some unhappy with the violence while others thought the strike took a positive step toward stopping Syria's use of chemical weapons.