Syria bombing: US launches first direct military action against Assad - World Reaction

The US military has launched a cruise missile attack on a Syrian airfield in response to Bashar al-Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons this week, marking the first time the US has become a direct combatant against the Syrian regime.

The US move drew an angry response from Russia, which described the strike as an “aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international law”.

The Russian foreign ministry has since announced it is suspending a deal with the US to exchange information about their flights to avoid incidents in the crowded skies over Syria. Moscow has also called for a meeting of the UN security council to discuss the strikes.

Syrian officials said at least seven people were killed and nine wounded in US missile attack.

Russia’s foreign minister said no Russian service personnel were hurt in the strike. Speaking during a trip to Uzbekistan, Sergei Lavrov said the strike was launched on an “absolutely made-up pretext”, adding: “It reminds me of the situation in 2003 when the United States and Britain, along with some of their allies, attacked Iraq.”

He said Russia would demand Washington explain why it conducted the strikes. “I hope this provocation will not lead to irreparable damage [to US-Russian ties],” Lavrov said.

Donald Trump, who for years signalled he was comfortable with Assad remaining in power, abruptly switched course after seeing images of children gassed to ... in Idlib province after Assad used the nerve agent sarin against civilians.

The US strike, which comprised 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from the guided-missile destroyers USS Ross and Porter in the eastern Mediterranean.

An airfield at al-Shayrat, near Homs, was targeted, signaling a limited initial engagement on a target the military said was used to launch the sarin attack.

Though the US targeted some of Syria’s air defenses, it did not do so largely beyond al-Shayrat or in a sustained barrage, as it would typically do before launching a concerted air campaign. Instead, the Pentagon said, it attacked “aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems, and radars” at the airfield.

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