14 April 2018Hot off the Press
US President Donald Trump has announced in a television address that the United States, the United Kingdom and France have commenced “precision strikes” in Syria, in response to the chemical attack in Douma a week ago.
Speaking from the White House, President Trump denounced chemical attacks on civilian populations in Syria as the “crimes of a monster”, and that deterrence of these attacks was a national security priority for the United States.
Mr Trump underscored the involvement of British and French allies, and that the strikes would be “sustained” until the Syrian Government stopped its use of chemical agents.
The strikes have been targeted against Syria’s “chemical weapons infrastructure“, reportedly including facilities in Barzeh and Jamraya, and the Masyaf Dumayer air base in Homs – and significant Syrian armed forces, such as the 4th Armoured Division in Damascus and the Mezzeh military airport (known to be used by Syria’s Republican Guard), and facilities of proxies to the Syrian conflict, including the known Hezbollah headquarters in al-Qusayr .
The UK response has consisted of four Royal Air Force Tornado planes, launching Storm Shadow missiles at a chemical weapons facility fifteen miles west of Homs.
The UK Ambassador to the United Nations, Karen Pierce, confirmed that the military response intended to “deter the further use of chemical weapons”.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, released a statement that there “was no practical alternative” to deter the strikes except through “the use of force”.