U.S. Launches Missile Strikes on Syrian Airfield
President Trump says attack was to protect 'vital national security interest' of U.S.
The United States has launched a strike on the airfield in Syria believed to have been the source of a gas attack earlier in the week that killed innocent civilians. NBC first reported the strike and it has been since confirmed by several media outlets. Here's the NBC report:
The United States launched dozens of cruise missiles Thursday night at a Syrian airfield in response to what it believes was the Syrian government's use of banned chemical weapons blamed for having killed at least 100 people on Tuesday, U.S. military officials told NBC News.
Two U.S. warships in the Mediterranean Sea fired at least 50 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, including the runway, were hit.
Here is a report from NBC about the four options President Donald Trump had been given prior to the strike.
Trump is supposed to be making a public statement soon. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: A statement from Trump getting passed along to the media:
BREAKING: Trump calls on 'civilized nations' to join U.S. in 'seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria.'
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 7, 2017
UPDATE II: Sen. Rand Paul is not happy that the president didn't seek authorization from Congress:
The President needs Congressional authorization for military action as required by the Constitution.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) April 7, 2017
UPDATE III: Rep. Thomas Massie reminds everybody that once upon a time Trump knew how this was supposed to work:
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) April 7, 2017
UPDATE IV: Here's the audio of Trump's statement:
UPDATE V: CNN is reporting that the U.S. military warned the Russian military in advance of the strike in the event that they had personnel at the airfield.