The U.S. Defense Department released video of the guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) firing a Tomahawk land attack missile towards Syrian chemical weapon facilities on April 14.
The Pentagon says they believe the airstrikes “attacked the heart of the Syrian chemical weapons program” and “successfully hit every target.”
The Pentagon says none of the missiles filed by the U.S. and its allies was deflected by Syrian air defenses, rebutting claims by the Russian and Syrian governments.
Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, says the U.S.-led airstrikes against Syria has been “a very serious blow.”
The U.S., France and Britain launched military strikes on Saturday morning in Syria to punish President Bashar Assad for an apparent chemical attack against civilians last week and to deter him from doing it again.
Chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White says the target choices were “very methodical,” calling it a “deliberate decision” to go after chemical weapons facilities. She says the U.S. was confident that they had “significantly degraded his ability to use chemical weapons ever again.”
Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, says: “None of our aircraft or missiles involved in this operation were successfully engaged by Syrian air defenses.” He says there also is no indication that Russian air defense systems were employed early Saturday in Syria.
The Russian military had previously said Syria’s Soviet-made air defense systems downed 71 out of 103 cruise missiles launched by the United States and its allies.
McKenzie says 105 weapons were launched against three targets in Syria.
Characterizing the strike as a success, McKenzie says, “As of right now we’re not aware of any civilian casualties.”
White said that the strikes were launched to “cripple Syria’s ability to use chemical weapons in the future.”
White says the strikes do not “represent a change in U.S. policy or an attempt to depose the Syrian regime.” But she says, “We cannot allow such grievous violations of international law.”
She also called on Russia to “honor its commitment” to ensure the Assad regime gives up chemical weapons.
Story compiled with information from The Associated Press.