The United States, Britain, and France pounded Syria in a coordinated air strike in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed approximately 60 people last week. The U.S.-led coalition is being dubbed the biggest intervention by Western powers in Syria’s civil war.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis called the strikes a “one time shot” and said that they were aimed at Syrian government’s chemical weapons infrastructure.
“Right now we have no additional attacks planned,” Mattis said.
“Clearly, the Assad regime did not get the message last year,” Defense Secretary James Mattis said Friday evening from the Pentagon.
“Together we have sent a clear message to Assad and his murderous lieutenants that they should not perpetrate another chemical weapons attack for which they will be held accountable.”
Speaking alongside Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford provided few details of the military operation but added that, “this wave of air strikes is over.”
Neither Mattis or Dunford addressed possible Russian or Syrian retaliation to the U.S.-led strikes.
Meanwhile, the Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov issued a statement via Twitter.
“A pre-designed scenario is being implemented. Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences. All responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris.”
Last year, the Trump administration lobbed a total of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the Navy destroyers USS Porter and USS Ross in the eastern Mediterranean.
The missiles hit aircraft hangars, ammunition bunkers, air defense systems and radar. Additionally, the Pentagon said Russian forces in Syria were formally notified before the strike, but Moscow was not involved in the military operation.
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.