In the aftermath of the chemical attack in Syria, by launching a drone strike that targeted a Syrian airbase the US has sent a direct message to the Assad regime that such “barbaric” acts will not be tolerated. The strike puts the Trump administration smack in the middle of the ongoing (6-year old) Syrian civil war. This kind of direct involvement by the US was unheard of while ex-president Obama was in office.
President Trump called upon all sovereign nations to act against terrorists while making the announcement of the strikes. He said the chemical attack was one the world could not ignore, where a multitude of civilians including “beautiful babies” were killed, claiming that “a lot of lines were crossed.”
The strike was launched at the Shayrat Airfield, using 59 Tomahawk missiles at 3:40 am on Friday (Syrian time). Air defence systems, aircrafts and other components of the base were the targets of the drone strikes. The US believes the deadly chemical attack was launched from this base.
According to officials measures were reportedly taken to avoid hitting the allegedly stored toxic gas sarin. The air base was reportedly blown to pieces with everything from runways to aircrafts and fuel carriers being completely destroyed according to the Syrian Human Rights Observatory. They claimed that at least 4 servicemen were casualty of the strike.
While the retaliatory attack has been (controversially) lauded by some, allies of Assad such as Russia and Iran have condemned the strikes. The strikes were deemed by Russia to be “an act of aggression”, while the Assad regime has termed it as “disgraceful” and “short sighted.”
The opposition in Syria meanwhile has called on the US for more strikes targeting military bases used to launch terrorist strikes. Some of the survivors of the unfortunate chemical attack have welcomed the drone strikes as well.
While most in the US Congress have lauded the attack as a strong message to Assad and his allies, they have reportedly asked president Trump to clear with them before launching any more strikes. It has been reported that the CIA has been given authority under Trump to launch strike against terrorists.