Tomahawk missiles: Explaining the weapons the US used to strike Syria

President Donald Trump ordered two US destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean, the USS Porter and USS Ross, to fire more than 50 Tomahawk missiles, in an effort to target aircraft and infrastructure, such as ammunition supply bunkers and radars, that were believed to have been used in the chemical weapons attack on Tuesday at Idlib.

"Mounzer Mounzer, deputy Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, called the U.S. strike a "barbaric, flagrant act of aggression" that will embolden "terrorist groups" to use chemical weapons in the future". Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin believes the US launched the strikes under a "far-fetched pretext".

The NYPD says it is monitoring developments in Syria after the United States launched an airstrike on a Syrian air base in response to a chemical weapons attack.

About 60 U.S. Tomahawk missiles hit the Shayrat air base, a small installation with two runways, where aircraft often take off to bomb targets in northern and central Syria.

Syrian government officials said the base has played an instrumental role in the fight against the Islamic State group, which until recently controlled the historic town of Palmyra in Homs province.

The Pentagon says the satellite photos show damaged or destroyed aircraft shelters at the Shayrat Airbase.

The Tomahawks were first used by the USA during the Gulf War in 1991, and they've been a mainstay of the military ever since.

Asked about the US military's plan for how to deal with any potential further attacks, Howard said the military was ready to respond if other civilian options failed.

"The U.S. missile attack against Syria is a clear and unforgivable act of aggression against a sovereign state and we strongly condemn this", KCNA quoted an unnamed spokesman for the North Korean foreign ministry as saying. The official, who was not authorized to discuss initial reports, spoke on condition of anonymity. France, Italy and Israel also welcomed the strikes.

It comes just days after dozens of civilians, including many children, died in the suspected nerve gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province.

"We are assessing the results of the strike", Davis said.

Trump had said the chemical attack crossed "many, many lines", and put the blame squarely on Assad's forces.

"It is in vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter use of deadly chemical weapons", Trump told reporters.

A survivor of the chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun told the AP he hopes the USA missile attack puts an end to government airstrikes, creating a safe area for civilians. Speaking Thursday on Air Force One, Trump said the attack "shouldn't have happened, and it shouldn't be allowed to happen". But the vote was canceled because of differences among the 15 members.

  • Leroy Wright