The US, UK and France carried out a missile strike on three sites in and around Damascus and the western Syrian city of Homs with links to the country's chemical weapons programme.
Friday night's strike was conducted by Tornado jets flying from the RAF Akrotiri, Rafale fighter bombers taking off from France and US B-1B bombers, with the latter having possibly taken off from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.

A french missile frigate operating from an undiclosed location also participated, as did a US destroyer from the Red Sea.

Theresa May stressed the limited and targeted nature of the attacks, emphasising that they were not about 'regime change'.

“We cannot allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised – either within Syria, on the streets of the UK or elsewhere,” May argued.

May left the door open to further strikes in the future, if the Syrian government continued to use chemical weapons, adding that “no one should doubt our resolve”.

Similarly, US Defence Secretary reportedly said that: “right now, this is a one-time shot”.

Logistical support for the mission was provided, at least in part, by two aircraft flying from Spain, with its Prime Minister voicing his support for the action as did German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

As an aside, earlier on Saturday, France released a de-classified intelligence report containing the information which had led it to conclude that the Syrian military was behind the 7 April chemical weapons attack in Douma.

The scale of the operation, which saw 105 weapons launched against those three targets, was roughly double that of the one conducted in April 2017.

In a press briefing, the Pentagon said that all of the strikes were successful, and the actions carried out by the US, France and UK were “sucessful and effective” because they would put the Assad regime's chemical weapons programme back by years.

No civilian or military casualties were reported, with no targets protected by Russia's most advanced air defence systems having been targeted, which it was believed should significantly reduce the risk of the conflict escalating.

None of the military assets, including a naval base, which Moscow had built in the country while it has helping what it labelled Syria's legitimate government were targeted either.

To take note of, for some observers the attacks might also have served as a signal to Iran that the costs of its involvement in Syria and alliance with Russia is rapidly increasing.

Some reports indicated that other targets, besides those mentioned by the Pentagon might also have been attacked, with Russia's Defence Ministry claiming that some of those strikes, such as one with 12 cruise missiles launched against the Al-Dumayr military airfield outside Damascus had failed, with all of the missiles having been intercepted.

For its part, the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons said it would go ahead with a previously planned mission in Syria to investigate the suspected chemical weapons attack in Douma on 7 April.


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