The Us has launched missiles in retaliation for the Syrian government’s chemical attack on a town held by rebels.
At least 80 people including children died in the chemical attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun. Prior to the attack, in which the nerve gas sarin is suspected to have been used, Syria was seen as an useful ally against the so – called Islamic State, however, the chemical assault changed President Trump’s view drastically. Trump had warned with military action against Syria after seeing images of children being gassed to death.
According to Syrian officials, at least 7 people were killed and 9 wounded in the US missile strike which comprised fifty-nine Tomahawk cruise missiles being fired from US Navy ships in the Mediterranean. The strikes targeted ammunition supply bunkers, storage areas, aircraft and air defence systems.
The US informed Russia, who is an important ally of the Syrian regime, prior to the missile strike. Russia condemned the attack as “aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international law”.
As a result of the attack, Russia has suspended talks with the US which were designed to avoid flight clashes over the skies of Syria and demanded a meeting of the UN security council.
Trump said that the US missile strike was in America’s interest and aimed at preventing further attack with chemical weapons. Russia believes that this was merely a pretext and argued that the death of the civilians in the alleged chemical attack had been caused after a chemical arsenal in the town had been hit by Syrian forces.
The US has been carrying out attacks against Jihadist groups in Syria since 2014, however, this is the first time, US missiles struck Syrian government forces. The US acted without having international authorisation, however, Trump’s decision to attack Syria was backed by prominent politicians. The UK government called it “an appropriate response to the barbaric chemical weapons attack”.
Trump called upon the international community to “join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types”.