US, France, and UK launch missile attack on Syria

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At least one U.S. naval ship and a U.S. B-1 bomber was used in a cruise missile strike in Syria on Friday night.  

“A short time ago I ordered the U.S armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated  with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian Dictator Bashar al-Assad.” President Trump said in an address at just after 9 PM ET Friday.

The strike which targeted three Syrian chemical weapon facilities in Homs, and Damascus lasted seventy minutes. The attack came a week after the Assad regime was accused of launching a chemical attack on its citizens, and on the same day that french president Emmanuel Macron stated that he had evidence of such attacks.

President Trump also made this statement on twitter after the chemical attacks…

https://bit.ly/2qnXtTG

The Assad regime attempted to shoot down incoming missiles however the Pentagon said that it is not believed that any Russian intervention occurred. Russia said the attacks did not enter their zone of responsibility.

A reported one hundred and twelve cruise missiles were fired in the attack.

The missiles launched from the B-1 have a range of about 600 miles. French Dassault Rafale fighter jets were also used in the attack and launched storm shadow cruise missiles with a range upwards of 250 miles. The tomahawk missiles  launched from the U.S. naval ship from the Red Sea have a range of 800 to 1,500 miles. The UK said that their tornado jets also participated operation.

Given the high tech nature of the missiles it is unlikely that the U.S. needed to enter Syrian airspace. The missile which are equipped with GPS along with the ability to be reprogrammed mid-flight amongst other technologies allow for precise targeting.

The missiles cost approximately $1.4M plus each. Defense Secretary James Mattis said that double the amount of missiles were launched Friday than were launched in a previous attack in 2017. Fifty-nine missiles were used in that attack.   

Given these figures for the cost of missiles alone, this attack is estimated to cost well above $200M mark.

In the afterhours of the attack Defense Secretary James Mattis and President Trump addressed the attack as well as Russia and the Assad regime. Mattis said “the Assad regime did not get the message last year” “This time…the US and allies stuck harder”.  

Mattis also stated the attack was on a research center, storage facility, and command post was a direct retaliation to degrade there chemical program and deter the Assad regime from using chemical weapons.  

As of 7 AM local time in Damascus, Syrian media reported three injuries and no deaths in the attack. It is not clear if these casualties are civilians or Syrian military personnel.

President Trump said further military, economic, and diplomatic actions remain on the table and will be pursued if the Assad regime does not seize there use of chemical weapons.  

 

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US, France, and UK launch missile attack on Syria