The U.S. message to Syria Saturday was clear – if the Syrian government uses chemical weapons again, the U.S. will not hesitate to strike again. This comes as the world weighs the damage of the heavy missile attack against Syrian government installations overnight.
CGTN’s Toby Muse reports.
This comes as the world weighs the damage of the heavy missile attack against Syrian government installations overnight.
“Last night’s operations were successful. We met all our objectives. We hit all of our targets successfully. No aircrafts, allied aircrafts were engaged. It was a successful mission. What happens next depends on what the Assad regime decides to do,” said Dana White, a Pentagon spokeswoman.
The U.S. says it launched more than a hundred weapons against three installations that it says were involved in the development, production and storage of chemical weapons.
The operation carried out by the U.S., France and the UK, had a significant impact, according to the Pentagon, striking three sites: Barza, Him Shinshar and the Him Shinshar bunker.
“Against the first target, the Barza Research and Development Center, which is located in the greater Damascus area, we employed 76 missiles. Initial assessments are that this target was destroyed. This is going to set the Syrian chemical weapons program back for years,” said Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, director, U.S. Joint Staff.
The U.S. administration is making it clear that it sees the use of chemical weapons beyond just Syria – that the U.S.-led airstrikes were a warning for any government or actor thinking of using them.
While the Syrian and Russian governments deny that Syria carried out the chemical weapons attack on April 7th, U.S. senior administration officials said the evidence is overwhelming that both chlorine and sarin were used by Syria on a rebel neighborhood near Damascus.
U.S. administration officials blamed Russia for not carrying out its pledge to help the Syrian government destroy its chemical weapons stockpile.
However, in 2013, the U.S. and Russia reached a joint agreement to dispose of Syria’s chemical weapons in line with a U.N Security Council resolution.
President Donald Trump congratulated the U.S. military for leading the airstrike. He ended his tweet with the words: “Mission Accomplished” – curiously that phrase has become notorious in American politics – it was the message displayed on a banner during a speech by President George W. Bush in 2003, declaring the invasion of Iraq a success. Yet, shortly after, Iraq would descend to its worst bloodshed, leaving hundreds of thousands dead.