Mattis, Dunford Detail Attacks on Syrian Chemical Arsenal

U.S., British and French air and naval forces launched attacks against the Syrian government’s chemical weapon arsenal in retaliation for the use of such weapons on civilians, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a Pentagon news conference tonight.

“As the world knows, the Syrian people have suffered terribly under the prolonged brutality of the Assad regime,” the secretary said. “On April 7, the regime decided to again defy the norms of civilized people showing callous disregard for international law by using chemical weapons to murder women, children and other innocents. We and our allies find these atrocities inexcusable.”

President Donald J. Trump ordered the strikes to stop the regime from using such inhumane weapons again. Mattis said stopping the atrocities is in the vital national interests of the United States.

Research and Development Facilities

The strikes hit Syrian leader Bashar Assad’s chemical weapon research, development and production facilities. The strikes tonight were far harder than the ones last year, when the United States launched 58 missiles against the Shayrat air base following a chemical attack.

“Obviously, the Assad regime did not get the message last year,” Mattis said.

The strikes now send a very clear message to Syrian leaders “that they should not perpetrate…

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