(updated) Chemical objects of the Assad regime were attacked.
The US, UK and France have launched precision airstrikes on military and chemical research sites. Previously, President Donald Trump announced the decision to start the military operation together with the United Kingdom and France, Voice of America reports.
US Joints Chief of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford said that the strikes began to be launched at 9 pm American time (4 am Minsk time). According to him, the "scientific center in Damascus, a chemical weapons warehouse in western Homs, a chemical storehouse and a command post near Homs were attacked," - the Deutsche Welle reports.
Dunford also said the US had not previously informed Russia on the airstrike on Syria. "The only discussion that took place in connection with this operation before actually hitting the targets, was the standard notification along the line of the flight safety management, - he said.
Herein, they assured in the Pentagon that the targeted sites were also chosen to limit the loss of life and avoid hitting Russian forces altogether.
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told that the strike on Syria was a one-time shot, but the head of the Pentagon does not rule out there can be more military actions in the future. "Any future strikes would depend on whether the Assad regime conducts any future chemical attacks ," - he added.
The Russian Defense Ministry told that the US Navy, as well as the US and British air forces, struck civilian and military targets in Syria from 3.42 to 5.10 Minsk time - for a total of 1 hour 28 minutes. According to the Russian agency, more than 100 cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles were fired at facilities in Syria.
According to the Syrian news agency SANA, the research center in Barza suffered material damage. As a result of the hit of several missiles, a building was destroyed, in which there were scientific laboratories and an educational center. When attacking warehouses in Homs several missiles were shot down, and some of them, under the influence of air defense weapons, changed the flight path and deviated from the set targets. As a result, three civilians were injured. Syria's air defense intercepted several missiles aimed at Damascus, but the science center in the Syrian capital was also damaged.
The US and its allies said that on April 7 in the city of the Duma in East Gut there was a chemical attack, which killed 70 people. The Western countries blame Russia also for the attack on Bashar Assad. The Russian side immediately denied all the accusations, accused the UK of provocations and said that in the event of an attack from the US, it reserves the right to "shoot down missiles and destroy sources of fire." In response, US President Donald Trump on Twitter advised Russia to be prepared, "because they will be coming."