Thursday night, President Donald Trump ordered the launch of over 50 tomahawk missiles on a military airfield in Syria. Officials say the attack has killed six.
The attack was in response to a chemical weapon strike on civilians that was carried out by Bashar al-Assad's regime earlier this week.
"The use of chemical weapons against innocent people will not be tolerated." -- Pentagon Spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis on U.S. strike in #Syria— Department of State (@StateDept) April 7, 2017
Russian President Vladimir Putin [and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] have slammed the U.S. for the action, with Putin claiming that it was designed to deflect attention away from the conflict in Iraq.
BREAKING: Kremlin says U.S. strike on Syria is "aggression against sovereign state in violation of international law."— The Associated Press (@AP) April 7, 2017
BREAKING: Russia says it is suspending deal with United States to prevent mid-air incidents over Syria in response to U.S. strike.— The Associated Press (@AP) April 7, 2017
'Russia may terminate all military contacts with the US in Syria after missile strike,' state media reports. https://t.co/F53XqF5vLI— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) April 7, 2017
You can read Bashar al-Assad's statement below.
Assad statement on Sana.sy pic.twitter.com/KycCGwZezj— Alexander Marquardt (@MarquardtA) April 7, 2017
Madison Park at CNN reports that while the Obama administration said that Assad must go, Thursday's airstrikes mark the first direct military action the US has taken against his regime.
It remains to be seen how the airstrikes affect the Trump administration's policy on Syria, as just one week ago [US Secretary of State] Rex Tillerson said the "longer-term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people." .
Of Thursday's airstrike, Tillerson said:
Sec. Tillerson: It's important action be taken to make clear the use of chemical weapons continues to be a violation of international norms.— Department of State (@StateDept) April 7, 2017
Sec. Tillerson: Strike was proportional because it was targeted at facility that delivered most recent chemical weapons attack. #Syria— Department of State (@StateDept) April 7, 2017
Sec. Tillerson on #Syria: We coordinated carefully with international partners in terms of communicating; response from allies supportive.— Department of State (@StateDept) April 7, 2017
How do you feel about all of this?
First time I'm not totally opposed to Trump. Action needed to stop strikes on civilians. EU & US must continue to work for pol. settlement.— Guy Verhofstadt (@GuyVerhofstadt) April 7, 2017