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.
Syria’s air defenses weren’t much of a problem.
“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.