According to a briefing from the United States Pentagon, American, British, and French forces teamed up to take on Syria in a series of aerial strikes early Friday morning, on April 13, 2018.
According to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, the joint operation hit three locations at which chemical weapons were either stored or produced. One strike hit Damascus, a large city in the Southwestern corner of Syria, of which a “scientific research center” was destroyed.
Homs, another large city in Syria – it’s located in the Western portion of the country, just Northeast of Lebanon’s Northernmost border – was formerly home to both a storage facility for stores of chemical weapons, as well as a storage facility for equipment used to spread such chemical weapons, and a command post. Both of these were located within the greater Homs area.
Syria’s state television network claims that missiles inbound to Homs were destroyed in-air and caused no damage to any facilities, though news media sources haven’t been able to verify such reports.
At least three Syrian residents were injured in Homs as a result of the missile strikes, even though they were intercepted by ground-based defense systems in Syria.
So, why is the United States military – alongside military forces from other countries – involved in Syria?
Syria’s government, under the rule of President al-Assad, has perpetrated chemical strikes on numerous occasions. The most recent of these strikes took place just one week ago. Chemical weapons are considered highly inappropriate to use in any type of warfare, regardless of how serious any given level of warfare is.
According to Dunford, “this wave of airstrikes is over,” though fellow officials at the Pentagon – the headquarters for the United States Department of Defense – have made clear that the United States will continue such strikes until the Syrian government ceases the use of chemical weapons.
While it isn’t immediately clear what chemical weapons were used by Syrian government officials, it is clear what weapons and vehicles the United States of America used in yesterday’s strikes. A United States Navy ship deployed several missiles from its station in the Red Sea.
A handful of B-1 bombers also were responsible for launching off several missiles. According to the British Ministry of Defense, four Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s were responsible for Britain’s part of the strikes. France used Rafale fighter aircraft.