US bombs Syrian air base

08 Apr, 2017 - 00:04 0 Views
US bombs Syrian air base President Trump

The Herald

President Trump

President Trump

The United States yesterday morning launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the Mediterranean Sea into Syria, aimed at Shayrat Air Base.

The strike was ordered by US President Donald Trump as a direct response to the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack on Tuesday.

The strike was the first targeted attack by the US military on Syrian government forces during the war.

President Trump justified the strike by stating that it is in the national security interest of the US to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons in the world.

On Wednesday evening, under the War Powers Resolution, Trump notified the US Congress of his plan on the missile strike.

According to a White House official, over 24 members of the Congress were briefed at the time.

The strike targeted Shayrat Air Base in the Homs Governorate, which is believed to be the base for the aircraft that carried out the chemical attack on Tuesday and was intended to destroy air defences, aircraft, hangars and fuel.

The New York Times, citing a US military source, said that 59 Tomahawk missiles had been launched from two US Navy warships, USS Ross and USS Porter, at around 4:40 local time.

According to Russia’s defence ministry, 23 hit the base, and it did not know where the other 36 landed.

The US Central Command stated in a Press release that Tomahawk missiles hit “aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, defence systems, and radars”.

A Russian state TV reported that nine planes were destroyed by the strikes.

All planes are thought to have been out of action at the time.

The US notified a number of countries, including Canada, Australia, and Russia, hours in advance of the strike.

There were thought to be Russians at the airbase.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strike killed four soldiers, including a general, and damaged over a dozen hangars, a fuel depot, and an air defence base.

It was the first time during the presidency of Donald Trump that the White House had ordered military action against forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

Russia suspended a protocol with the US that aimed to prevent mid-air collisions over Syria.

Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that a “complex of measures” to strengthen Syrian air defences will be done shortly to help “protect the most sensitive Syrian infrastructure facilities.

Syrian state media condemned the strike, calling it an “act of aggression” and claiming it caused unspecified losses.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Arab Army said that its response will be to continue to “crush terrorism” and restore “peace and security to all Syrians”.

The governor of Homs, Talal Barazi, said that the strike proves that the United States is supporting terrorism within Syria. Mr. Barazi told Syrian News Channel that “they are not surprised today to see the supporting parties interfering directly after the failure of terrorists in targeting Syria”.

The spokesperson for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad called the missile strikes “unjust and arrogant aggression” and an “outrageous act” and that the attack “does not change the deep policies” of the Syrian government.

Najib Ghadbian, a representative of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, welcomed the strikes: “They are first good steps but we would like them to be part of a bigger strategy that would put an end to the mass killing, an end to impunity and eventually we hope that they will lead to a kind of a political transition (in Syria).”

Reactions from members of Congress were mixed and not uniform by political party.

Paul Ryan (R–WI), the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, said the strike was “appropriate and just.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D–CA) said, “Tonight’s strike in Syria appears to be a proportional response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D–NY) said, “Making sure Assad knows that when he commits such despicable atrocities he will pay a price is the right thing to do.”

Senators John McCain (R–AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R–SC) said, “Unlike the previous administration, President Trump confronted a pivotal moment in Syria and took action. For that, he deserves the support of the American people.”

Senator Marco Rubio (R–FL) called it an “important decisive step.”

Other lawmakers criticised the President’s actions.

Senator Rand Paul (R–KY) tweeted, “While we all condemn the atrocities in Syria, the United States was not attacked.” Representative Ted Lieu (D–CA) tweeted, “This was done with no debate in Congress and no explanation to the American people.”

Representative Seth Moulton (D–MA) tweeted, “So (President Trump) cares enough about the Syrian people to launch 50 Tomahawks but not enough to let the victims of Assad find refuge and freedom here.”

Senator Chris Coons (D–DE) said he was “gravely concerned that the United States is engaging further militarily in Syria without a well-thought-out, comprehensive plan.”

Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D–HI) said, “This escalation is short-sighted and will lead to more dead civilians, more refugees, the strengthening of al-Qaeda and other terrorists, and a possible nuclear war between the United States and Russia.”

International

The governments of Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom generally supported the strike, some calling it a just response and strong message against the use of chemical weapons.

The Netherlands said it understood why the strike was carried out but that it is important to de-escalate the situation as soon as possible.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the European Union have also expressed support for the attack.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the strike an illegal “act of aggression” based on a “trumped-up pretext” and an attempt to distract the world from civilian casualties in Iraq (an apparent reference to US air-strike in Mosul that killed more than 200), which substantially impairs Russia-United States relations.

The Russian Foreign Ministry denounced the strike as being based on false intelligence and against international law, suspended the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Prevention of Flight Safety Incidents that had been signed with the US, and called an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov compared the strike to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev said the attack brought the US “within an inch” of clashing with the Russian military.

The government of Iran condemned the strike as a unilateral action that will strengthen terrorists and complicate the war.

The Egyptian foreign ministry has called on the United States and Russia to “contain the conflict” and reach a comprehensive and final resolution to the 6-year civil war.

Swedish Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström said the attack “raises questions about how this could be compatible with international law.”

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that China had always been opposed to the use of force.Global Times, a tabloid owned by the Communist Party of China (CPC) has published an online editorial criticising Trump’s military strike against Syria and said that the attack was likely to spark conflict between the United States and Russia and “took place despite no definitive results from the investigation by an international organisation, and was carried out in the absence of a UN Security Council resolution. – Wiki.

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