“The United States launched dozens of cruise missiles Thursday night at a Syrian airfield in response to what it believes was Syria’s use of banned chemical weapons that killed at least 100 people, U.S. military officials told NBC News,” the network reported late Thursday:
Two U.S. warships in the Mediterranean Sea fired 59 Tomahawk missiles intended for a single target — Ash Sha’irat in Homs province in western Syria, the officials said. That’s the airfield from which the United States believes the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fired the banned weapons.
There was no immediate word on casualties. U.S. officials told NBC News that people were not targeted and that aircraft and infrastructure at the site were hit, including the runway and gas fuel pumps.
You can watch President Trump’s statement delivered moments ago about the attack here:
Reaction from Congress was quick.
“The U.S. and world community stood by as Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad brutally tortured and murdered more than 500,000 of his own people, and I applaud President Trump for taking decisive action following the latest chemical weapons attack,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) , the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, told CBS News.
“It is critical that Assad knows he will no longer enjoy impunity for his horrific crimes against his own citizens, and this proportional step was appropriate. As we move forward, it will be important for the administration to engage with Congress and clearly communicate its full strategy to the American people,” Corker added.
“Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, issued a joint statement saying that the strikes send an important message that ‘the United States will no longer stand idly by as Assad, aided and abetted by Putin’s Russia, slaughters innocent Syrians with chemical weapons and barrel bombs.’ ” CBS News reported.
Trump appeared to have generally bipartisan support for his actions.
“Immediate reaction from senior Democrats appeared to be relatively positive. ‘Making sure Assad knows that when he commits such despicable atrocities he will pay a price is the right thing to do,’ said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in a statement while calling for further administration consultation with Congress,” CBS News reported.