Loud Explosions Heard In Syrian Capital As Trump Announces Strikes

Ryan Pickrell | China/Asia Pacific Reporter

Explosions could be heard in the Syrian capital of Damascus just moments after President Donald Trump announced precision strikes on “targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities” of the Syrian regime.

Coalition forces involving American, British, and French naval and air assets hit Syria hard Saturday morning following Trump’s decision to punish the Syrian regime for its alleged involvement in a chemical weapons attack on civilians in Douma, Eastern Ghoutta, last weekend. The attack, which killed dozens, is believed to have involved a combination of chlorine gas and a possible nerve agent.

Targets in the attack on Syria included a scientific research center near Damascus, a chemical weapons storage center west of Homs, and a storage/command and control area near the second target, according to the Pentagon.

There are unconfirmed reports the coalition strikes may have also hit airbases, as well as defense labs in locations across Syria. Speaking at a press briefing at the Department of Defense, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford indicated the primary targets were chosen to significantly degrade the Syrian regime’s ability to produce chemical weapons.

Syrian air defense systems actively tried to fend off coalition strikes, the country’s state media reported.

Update: This piece was updated to include the Pentagon’s statements on the targets selected.

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