The United States on Thursday evening, local time, launched at least 50 Tomahawk missiles that hit an airbase in the Homs region of Syria. The assault resulted in the death of six people, said Syrian authorities, and came just days after the Syrian regime led by President Bashar al-Assad was said to have launched a chemical attack in the city of Idlib, killing scores of people. The airbase is the one from where the chemical attack was launched.
A US statement released by the Pentagon said: "Russian forces were notified in advance of the strike using the established deconfliction line. US military planners took precautions to minimise risk to Russian or Syrian personnel located at the airfield." It added: "The strike was a proportional response to Assad's heinous act [chemical attack]. It was intended to deter the regime from using chemical weapons again."
Trump confirms attack
US President Donald Trump later confirmed the attack, and called for other countries to follow in the US' footsteps. He said: "On Tuesday, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians. Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the lives of helpless mean, women and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack."
Trump added: "Tonight I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. It is in this vital, national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons. There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and ignored the urging of the UN Security Council."
Watch the video of the missile launch here:
Situation to worsen?
The move is expected to exacerbate the situation in Syria, where armed rebels have been looking to overthrow the Assad regime for a few years now. The regime has been looking to suppress the rebellion. It has also been known to target civilian areas where tip-offs say the rebels are hiding.
The US has so far been passive about the entire issue. However, with it getting involved in yet another war in the Middle-East, Trump will not only have to face questions back home, but also have to make some tough choices when it comes to entering this conflict.