Syria missile strike: Attack 'reduced Syrian ability to deliver chemical weapons', Pentagon spokesman says

'The use of chemical weapons against innocent people will not be tolerated,' says Captain Jeff Davis

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The Independent US

The US missile strike on Syria "targeted aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems, and radars", a Pentagon spokesman has said. 

Captain Jeff Davis said the attack on Shayrat Airfield in Homs governorate was conducted at the direction of US President Donald Trump "in response to the Syrian government's chemical weapons attack". 

A total of 59 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles had been "launched from the destroyers USS Porter and USS Ross in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea," he said. 

"As always, the US took extraordinary measures to avoid civilian casualties and to comply with the Law of Armed Conflict," he added. "Every precaution was taken to execute this strike with minimal risk to personnel at the airfield."

Captain Davis also confirmed that Russian forces in the region had been pre-warned about the attack.

US military planned had taken precautions to "execute this strike with minimal risk to personnel at the airfield," he said. 

Although they were still assessing the results on the strike, Captain Davis said initial indications were that it had "severely damaged or destroyed Syrian aircraft and support infrastructure and equipment at Shayrat Airfield, reducing the Syrian Government's ability to deliver chemical weapons."

He added: "The use of chemical weapons against innocent people will not be tolerated."

Syria decried the attack calling it an "aggression" that led to "losses."

A military official quoted on state TV said material damage had been done to the base.

Another statement, also attributed to an unnamed official, referred to "losses." The officials did not elaborate.  

Talal Barazi, the governor of Homs province, where the targeted air base is located, said that most of the strikes appeared to target the province in central Syria.

He told Al Arabiya TV that a fire raged for two hours in the base, until it was put out.