CNN: Live updates and Key things to know about the airstrikes
- THE STRIKE: US warships launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield. The map below shows the location.
- THE MESSAGE: Ambassador Nikki Haley told the United Nations moments ago that the strike was a “measured response” and the US is “prepared to do more.”
- RUSSIA: Putin said the strike was a “significant blow” to Russian-US relations.
- US RESPONSE: Many US lawmakers voiced support for Trump’s decision. They want him to talk to Congress about next steps.
After dinner was over, Trump told China’s President about the airstrikes
Summary of reactions (from Geeza ex Aljazeera):
World and regional leaders and countries were quick to react to the news.
…which has been bombing rebel-held areas in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad since September 2015, condemned the strikes, saying Washington’s action would “inflict major damage on US-Russia ties”, according to Russian news agencies.
In its first public response to the attack, the Kremlin labelled the US move as “aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international law”.
“Washington’s step will inflict major damage on US-Russia ties,” Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson of Russian president Vladimir Putin, was quoted as saying.
…said it “fully supports” the strikes, adding that it was a “courageous decision” by President Donald Trump in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, in northwestern Syria
“A responsible source at the foreign ministry expressed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s full support for the American military operations on military targets in Syria, which came as a response to the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians,” a statement carried by state news agency SPA said.
The statement said it holds the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad responsible for the deaths of dozens of civilians in in Khan Sheikhoun.
…also an Assad ally, said it strongly condemned the missile strikes against the Syrian army’s Shayrat air base.
“Iran strongly condemns any such unilateral strikes … such measures will strengthen terrorists in Syria … and it will complicate the situation in Syria and the region,” ISNA news agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying.
…which hosts three million Syrian refugees, said it views the US missile strikes positively and called for the establishment of a no-fly zone, as well as safe zones, in Syria.
“What happened in Idlib on Tuesday proved again that the bloody Assad regime show complete disregard for the prospect of a political transition and efforts to enforce the ceasefire,” read a statement by presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin.
“The destruction of Sharyat airbase marks an important step to ensure that chemical and conventional attacks against the civilian population do not go unpunished.”
*Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu…
…said he supports the “strong and clear message” sent by the US strikes.
The Israeli military said it had been informed in advance of the attack.
“In both word and action, President (Donald) Trump sent a strong and clear message today that the use and spread of chemical weapons will not be tolerated,” a statement from Netanyahu’s office said.
“Israel fully supports President Trump’s decision and hopes that this message of resolve in the face of the Assad regime’s horrific actions will resonate not only in Damascus, but in Tehran, Pyongyang and elsewhere.”
…said the US action was an appropriate response to the “barbaric chemical weapons attack” launched by the Syrian government, according to a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May.
*Italy also gave its support, saying it was a suitable response to Syrian aggression.
The strike was “a commensurate response … and a signal of deterrence against the risks of further use of chemical weapons by Assad”, Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said in a statement.
*Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull…
… also weighed in, saying that he supported the strike, calling it a “proportionate and calibrated response”.
In a televised statement, he also called on Russia to play its part in bringing peace to Syria.
… has requested the UN Security Council hold closed-door consultations on Friday about the missile strikes, a senior Security Council diplomat said.
Also Russia apparently says only 23 of the 59 cruise missiles actually hit their targets?
And that they are boosting their air defences in Syria.
The Security Council are currently holding an emergency meeting on Syria.
US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has just spoken as says that the US will do it again if necessary.
Key quotes from her speech:
“The United States took a very measured step last night. We are prepared to do more. But we hope that will not be necessary.”
“Assad did this because he thought he could get away with it. He thought he could get away with it, because he knew Russia had its back.”
“The moral stain could no longer be unanswered. His crimes against humanity could no longer be ignored.”
“The US will no longer wait for Assad to use weapons with no consequences. Those days are over.”
Apparently the Pentagon are looking into whether Russia was involved in the Syrian Chemical Weapons attack.
Senior officials are reported as saying a drone from either Russia or Syria was seen hovering over the site of the CW attack.
They also allege that a hospital bombed shortly after was to cover up the attack.
From the Telegraph:
“Pentagon probes Russian involvement in chemical attack
A potentially game-changing development, just in from Associated Press:
Senior military officials say the US is looking into whether Russia participated in Syria’s chemical weapons attack.
The officials say Russia has failed to control the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons.
They say a drone belonging either to Russia or Syria was seen hovering over the site of the chemical weapons attack Tuesday after it happened. The drone returned late in the day as citizens were going to a nearby hospital for treatment. Shortly afterward, officials say the hospital was bombed.
The officials say they believe the hospital attack may have been an effort to cover up evidence of the attack.
The officials weren’t authorised to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity. They say they’re still reviewing evidence.”