Two U.S. warships and several B-1 bombers have launched 59 tomahawk cruise missiles, hitting several targets in Syria. This comes shortly after President Trump made the announcement the United States would be retaliating against Assad forces for an alleged gas attack in Dhouma, which killed dozens of civilians.
At $1.87 million per missile, that’s roughly $110.3 million, or enough to feed Rosie O’Donnel for 10 whole days.
An additional 51 missiles were fired from U.K. bombers and French warships involved in joint operations with US-led forces. Syrian air defenses allegedly intercepted a large number of the missiles with tracer rounds and Surface-to-Air missiles, during a 40 minute barrage launched from US and French destroyers in the Red Sea. However, even successful deployment of SyAAF (Syrian Arab Air Force) air defenses purchased from Russia couldn’t achieve 100% area denial, and the Syrian countermeasures were quickly overwhelmed by the sheer number of missiles fired. Reports are emerging that the Al-Shayrat Air Base in the Homs Province has been effectively destroyed.
A research facility in Barzeh and a storage facility west of Homs Province claimed to be associated with chemical weapons production were also targeted. However, much of the materials alleged to have been stored at the facilities are believed to have been moved by Assad forces after President Trump’s repeated warnings made it clear he was planning an attack.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May stated:
The UK element of the carefully coordinated joint action was contributed by four Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s. They launched Storm Shadow missiles at a military facility — a former missile base — some fifteen miles west of Homs, where the regime is assessed to keep chemical weapon precursors stockpiled in breach of Syria’s obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention.
At least six Syrian soldiers and three civilians are confirmed dead so far as a result of the pre-dawn strike, according to Syrian army officials, which have condemned U.S. “aggression” as a violation of international laws and treaties under the U.N.
In a statement aired by the state-run SANA news agency and read on television, the military said the US strikes were done on a “pretext” of the Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack, without the full facts being thoroughly investigated and disclosed. It further called the U.S. a “partner to terrorist organizations,” such as the FSA, which is backed by Daesh (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda.
The Pentagon has stated that the Kremlin had been notified ahead of the operation – but US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made it clear that Washington had “sought no approval from Moscow.” No word has emerged yet on a retaliation from Russian forces in the region, but the Chinese fleet has joined the Russian fleet in the Mediterranean, with both having cruise missiles capable of striking US warships.