U.S. military strike against Syria: Six dead, claims Syrian Army

| Updated: Apr 07, 2017 18:49 IST

Moscow [Russia], Apr. 7 (ANI): At least six people were killed in the U.S. military strike on the Syrian Government's al-Shayrat airbase in response to Tuesday's chemical weapon attack, a statement from the Syrian Army has said. The Army has further accused the United States of 'blatant aggression' against the airbase and said its response would be to continue to 'crush terrorism' and restore 'peace and security to all Syria.' Earlier, Syrian State TV responded to the strike by dubbing it as 'American aggression,' albeit without much detail. "American aggression targets Syrian military targets with a number of missiles," The Guardian reported State TV as saying. In its first public response, the Kremlin issued a strong statement condemning the attack as "aggression against a sovereign nation." Moscow said the strikes had been carried out on an "invented pretext" and claimed the Syrian army did not have chemical weapons. It also said the strikes would do "significant damage to U.S.-Russia ties" and created a "serious obstacle" to creating an international coalition to defeat the ISIS. Earlier, the Pentagon confirmed it used a hotline for minimising the risk of aerial combat between U.S. and Russian jets in eastern Syria to alert Moscow of the strike against the Syrian Government. Hours after launching the military strike, Trump called on all 'civilised nations' to stop the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria. He also asserted that Assad "choked out the lives of innocent men, women and children." "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," he said. "Years of previous attempts at changing Assad's behaviour have all failed and failed very dramatically. As a result the refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilise, threatening the United States and its allies. Tonight I call on all civilised nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria, and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types," he added. On Trump's orders, U.S. warships launched between 50-60 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syria Government airbase where the warplanes that carried out the chemical attacks were based, U.S. officials said. Trump had famously said the chemical attack on Syria's Idlib province affected his deeply and tranformed his thinking about the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Dozens of people, including at least ten children, were killed and over 200 injured as a result of asphyxiation caused by exposure to an unknown gas on Tuesday. The death toll is said to be at least 67, according to al-Diab, while the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has reported it to be 58. The High Negotiations Committee claimed the death toll could be as high as 100 with up to 400 injured. (ANI)
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