Satellite images show before, after US strikes on Syrian base

Howard, the four-star officer who leads U.S. Naval Forces in Europe and Africa, told Reuters the United States had chose to launch the strikes after the United Nations failed to pass a resolution condemning a deadly chemical weapons attack that killed scores of people in rebel-held Khan Sheikhoun.

Navy Statement on Tomahawk Military Strike on SyriaThe strike was conducted using Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs) launched from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

The first direct USA attack on the Syrian government is retaliation for this week's chemical bomb attack on civilians.

"Years of previous attempts at changing Assad's behavior have all failed and failed very dramatically", Trump said from his resort in Mar-a-Lago where he was attending a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping. According to reports from the AP, Syrian state TV said the airstrikes are an act of "aggression". "There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons".

Washington has blamed the Syrian government for the attack on Tuesday.

Trump appeared to have opted for measured and targeted air attacks instead of a full-blown assault on Assad's forces and installations.

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"The armed terrorist groups and Daesh failed to target the Syrian Arab Army and Russian military positions", Barazi said, using the Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

A crater is seen at the site of an airstrike, after what rescue workers described as a suspected gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria April 4, 2017.

Trump has until now focused his Syria policy nearly exclusively on defeating Islamic State militants in northern Syria, where USA special forces are supporting Arab and Kurdish armed groups.

The United States launched the missile strikes on Friday in response to an alleged chemical attack that killed 90 people including 30 children.

Howard said the integration of the strikes was "flawless" and showed the ability of the U.S. Navy to project power around the world.

  • Ronnie Bowen