A coalition of ships and bombers hammered three Syrian chemical weapons sites with 105 weapons on Friday night in an escalated response designed to smash the Assad regime's capacity to use chemical weapons like chlorine and sarin gas.
"We are very confident we have significantly crippled Assad's ability to produce these weapons," Chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana W. White told reporters Saturday.
US ships and submarines launched cruiser missiles, B-1 bombers launched 19 JASSM-ER cruise missiles. Of the US ships, cruiser Monterey fired 30 Tomahawks, destroyers Higgins and Laboon fired 23 and seven respectively, and the attack submarine John Warner fired six. The French frigate Languedoc fired three cruise missiles, with French and British aircraft firing 17 more.
The attack was roughly double the size of the U.S. strike a year ago on a Syrian air base, which was also in response to a chemical attack.
"No Syrian weapon had any effect on what we did," Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the director of the Joint Staff, told reporters. McKenzie said there had been "no coordination, no agreement with the Russians" before the strikes.
This Defense Department map shows the three Syrian facilities targeted in the coalition strikes late Friday.Defense Department
Islamic state members walk in the last besieged neighborhood in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria February 18, 2019. (Reuters/Rodi Said)
NEAR BAGHOUZ, Syria (Reuters) - The Islamic State appeared closer to defeat in its last enclave in eastern Syria on Wednesday, as a civilian convoy left the besieged area where U.S.-backed forces estimate a few hundred jihadists are still holed up.
Russian President Vladimir Putin fires a fortress cannon. (Associated Press/Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin)
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Wednesday that Russia will target the U.S. with new weapons should Washington decide to deploy intermediate-range ballistic missiles (ICBMs) to Europe following the recent death of a Cold War-era arms control agreement, according to multiple reports.
He threatened to target not only the host countries where U.S. missiles might be stationed but also decision-making centers in the U.S.
U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 317th Airlift Wing walk to waiting family members and friends after stepping off of a C-130J Super Hercules at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Sept. 17, 2018 (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Mercedes Porter)
The U.S. Air Force has issued new guidelines for active-duty, reserve and National Guard airmen who are considered non-deployable, and officials will immediately begin flagging those who have been unable to deploy for 12 consecutive months for separation consideration.