US -led coalition strikes devastated targets across Syria Friday evening to ensure the Syrian regime understands the global community will not tolerate illegal use of chemical weapons. He authorized a barrage of Tomahawk cruise missiles to hit a single Syrian airfield in April 2017 in retaliation for Assad's use of sarin gas against civilians.
Mattis briefed reporters at the Pentagon Friday an hour after President Donald Trump announced the strike.
"As each day goes by - as you know, it is a non-persistent gas - so it becomes more and more hard to confirm it".
The first target was a military scientific research center in the greater Damascus area - used for research, development, production and testing of chemical and biological weapons, he said. The U.S. and Russian Federation have a phone line through which they deconflict air operations so as to avoid in-air collisions and any other mishaps. He called on Moscow to change course and join the West in seeking a more responsible regime in Damascus.
Russian Ambassador to U.S. warns of consequences after Syria strikes
Russian Federation and Iran back Assad's regime in a complicated civil war that has raged for seven years. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders also said on Wednesday the intelligence community was still assessing the evidence but said, "the President holds Syria and Russian Federation responsible for this chemical weapons attack".
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime is suspected of carrying out a chemical attack on his own people.
Decisions will be made "fairly soon", President Trump said.
Mattis said there were "no reports of losses" on the part of USA and allied forces participating in the strike, which included manned aircraft.
He said he became convinced Thursday, after he expressed those doubts.
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Mattis, addressing a hearing of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, declined to discuss US military planning on Syria.
Will there be more strikes?
"But right now, this is a one-time shot -and I believe that it sent a very strong message to deter him from doing this".
Mr. Dunford would not describe the military assets that were deployed but added that, "this wave of air strikes is over".
The United States along with French and British forces on Friday night fired more than 120 missiles at three different targets in Syria in an to attempt to take out vital chemical weapons facilities run by the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
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What has the reaction been? We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences.
America, along with assurance from France and the United Kingdom, launched a response Friday in opposition to the regime of Syrian chief Bashar al-Assad days after his authorities allegedly used chemical weapons on its residents.
"The only reason Assad is still in power is because of the Russians regrettable vetos in the [United Nations] and the Russian and Iranian military".
The NATO Secretary General, Jen Stoltenberg, tweeted support for the strikes, saying those who use chemical weapons "must be held accountable".
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