US President Donald Trump launched airstrikes on an airbase in Syria. The Shayrat airbase, which, is controlled by Assad forces is suspected to be the location where planes carrying sarin gas had taken off. The airstrikes hit at approximately 8:45 p.m. EDT, or early Friday morning local time.
According to American officials, the missiles were fires from U.S. warships located in the Mediterranean Sea. Trump made a speech Thursday evening. According to press reports he said Assad “launched a horrible, chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians using a deadly nerve agent.” The airstrikes are thought to be in retaliation for an sarin gas attack by government troops on civilians.
“There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the chemical weapons convention and ignored the urging of the UN Security Council,” Trump said. Dramatic images and video of the attack in Khan Sheikhoun, located near the airbase. 80 people were killed in the attack.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the country had a “high degree of confidence” that it was sarin nerve gas used in Tuesday’s attack. He believes the airstrikes were appropriate.
Russia was notified of the attack. Some reports say at that Russian soldiers were on the base 48 hours before the airstrikes. The United States dropped a total of 60 missiles on targets across Syria.
Update: 7/04/2017: US, Russia, One Step Away from Clashing: Medvedev
Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev says US actions in Syria have put the two countries on a collision course. He made comments on social media calling the missile strike illegal. He went onto say his country was “one step away from military clashes with Russia.”
Russia has suspended the Syrian Air agreement with the United States. The accord was designed to keep the two countries’ planes from colliding with each other. A Russian foreign Ministry official says they promise to keep military channels open. Russia’s main naval, and airbases were unharmed by the missiles.