NBC News confirmed that early in the morning of April 7, Syrian time (shortly before 9 p.m. on America’s east coast), the U.S. military launched 59 Tomahawk missiles at the Shayrat airbase near Homs, Syria. The tweet below contains what might be the first video footage released after the attack.
The missiles were launched mere hours after President Trump said “something should happen” to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, regarding the April 4 chemical attack that killed 72 people — and mere hours after Russia’s envoy to the United Nations warned of “negative consequences” if the US carried out military strikes against Syria.
Russia’s Sputnik News reports that Syrian television called the strikes an act of “American aggression.”
Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham almost immediately issued a joint statement saying in part that the missile strike “sent an important message [that] the United States will no longer stand idly by as Assad, aided and abetted by Putin’s Russia, slaughters innocent Syrians with chemical weapons and barrel bombs …. the first measure in such a strategy must be to take Assad’s air force … completely out of the fight.”
NBC’s Joe Scarborough mentioned an unnamed “high ranking administration official” who said that foreign countries ranging from Canada to various Arab states supported the US strike on Syria.
Foreign Policy reporter Paul McLeary said that Russian personnel were stationed at the Syrian base, but US defense officials warned Russia about the strikes beforehand. However, Zeke Miller, a White House correspondent for TIME, tweeted that “POTUS did not talk to Putin before ordering strike.”
Representative Barbara Lee (D-California) called the strike an “act of war,” and said in a tweet that “Congress needs to come back into session & hold a debate. Anything less is an abdication of our responsibility.”
The Pentagon issued a statement saying in part that “Initial indications are that this strike has severely damaged or destroyed Syrian aircraft and support infrastructure and equipment … reducing the Syrian Government’s ability to deliver chemical weapons. The use of chemical weapons against innocent people will not be tolerated.”