World news this week has focused on a disturbing escalation in the Syrian civil war. The Assad regime conducted chemical weapons attacks rebels, attacks which killed many civilians. And now President Trump has responded. The United States has launched at least 50 Tomahawk Missiles at government forces in Damascus.
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This is a serious escalation in U.S. involvement. Since the war began in 2011, the U.S. has maintained a minimal involvement. Most of our military efforts have been in opposition to the growing Islamic State, while our political involvement aimed at negotiating an end to the war.
This attack changes that. The Tomahawks were fired at an airbase at Shayrat, near the city of Homs. The base is believed to be the origin of Syrian airstrikes that are dropping chemical weapons.
Fox spoke with U.S. officials that said the strike originated from the USS Porter and the USS Ross.
“Our forward deployed ships give us the capability to quickly respond to threats,” a Navy official told Fox. “These strikes in Syria are a perfect example – this is why we’re there.”
President Trump, when asked Thursday about what he planned to do in response to the chemical weapons attacks, wouldn’t give any specifics.
“I think what happened in Syria is one of the truly egregious crimes and shouldn’t have happened and it shouldn’t be allowed to happen,” Trump told reporters on Air Force.
While the United States has little to fear from the Syrian retaliation, the Russians are supporting the Syrian regime. This attack tonight would have put Russians, who are manning antiaircraft batteries in Syria, at risk. It is believed that the Trump administration would have alerted the Russians as the attack began.
This story is still developing, and we’ll bring more as it becomes available.