U.S. President Donald Trump ordered military action against President Bashar al-Assad's regime after a Syrian chemical attack.
The U.S. military struck Syria’s al-Shayrat air base in the city of Homs. The airfield was allegedly where the plane that carried out the chemical attack took off from on Tuesday. U.S. ships fired nearly 60 cruise missiles within 1 minute against various targets near the Syrian airfield, according to CBS News.
That's 60,000 pounds of explosives in the space of 60 seconds. No word on casualties were available as of early Thursday evening.
At the U.N., Assad’s ally, Russia, warned the U.S. that there could be “negative consequences” if the U.S. took military action in Syria. Russia, which has provided military support for the Syrian government since September 2015, had indicated earlier on Thursday that its support of the Assad regime is not unconditional.
Earlier this week, the U.S. appeared on the verge of launching a strike against the Syrian military in retaliation for the suspected chemical attack
with two destroyers armed with cruise missiles positioned in the eastern Mediterranean, earlier this week.
CBS News reports cruise missiles are unmanned aircraft which carry a 1,000-pound warhead. They fly close to the ground below enemy air defenses, guided to their targets by GPS satellites.
Preparations for the attack came in the middle of a high-stakes summit between President Trump and China’s President Xi at the Florida White House.
Former president Barack Obama was on the brink of military action against the Assad regime.
“A red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized,” then-President Obama said in 2012.
And after a sarin gas attack in 2013 killed more than 1,400 Syrians, Obama prepared for airstrikes. Obama backed down from his threat after Assad promised to hand over his stockpile of chemical weapons, a promise this week’s attack suggests the dictator did not keep.
© 2017 Cox Media Group.