At least six people were killed after US President Donald Trump ordered a cruise missile attack on Syria’s Shairat military base in Homs. The act came as a reaction to a suspected gas attack in Syria’s Idlib province on Wednesday allegedly carried out by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces leaving 80 dead, out of which at least 20 were children.
Russia echoed Syrian government’s stand on “US’ act of aggression” while discussing the air strike in UN Security Council’s emergency meeting. US warned that it was “prepared to do more.” Russia’s Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov also warned of “negative consequences” from the US military action, which he described as a “doubtful, tragic enterprise.” Read more here.
Reacting on Russia’s accusation of US encouraging “terrorists” with its unilateral actions, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he was “disappointed” with Russia’s response. “It indicates their continued support for the (Bashar al-) Assad regime and, in particular, their continued support for a regime that carries out these type of horrendous attacks on their own people,” Tillerson was quoted as saying by the BBC. Read more here.
Meanwhile, Syrian rebels welcome the US intervention. Xinhua news agency reported that a rebel commander believed the missile strike was positively received among rebel factions in Homs. Homs’s Jaish al-Tawhid rebel group also supported the attack, saying it’s the “first step for the international community to shoulder their responsibilities.” Read more here.
Following the attack, US President Trump had addressed a press conference where he directly blamed Assad for the Syria chemical attack. “Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women, and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror,” he had said.