Attack on Syria: The latest of what we know

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The United States has launched a Tomahawk cruise missile attack on an airfield in Syria in retaliation for this week’s deadly chemical attack by the Syrian military against civilians in the war-torn Middle East country. Syria reports at least seven people killed in the 59-missile barrage. Here are the latest things to know:


1. Why the strike was ordered: President Trump cast the attack on the Syrian air base as vital to deter future use of poison gas. He called on other nations to join in seeking “to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria.”

2. Russia condemns attack: Russia, whose troops are on the ground in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad, said President Vladimir Putin believes the U.S. strike is an “aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international law.” Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin believes the U.S. launched the strikes under a “far-fetched pretext.”


3. Before the strike: U.S. military officials informed their Russian counterparts of the impending attack in an effort to avoid any contact involving Russian forces.

4. What Syria, its allies and others in the Middle East say: Syria called the attack an “aggression.” Iran, another close ally of the Syrian government, condemned the strike, describing “unilateral action” as “dangerous.” Saudi Arabia and Turkey, which support the Syrian opposition, welcomed the missile strike, with Riyadh calling it a “courageous decision” by Trump.

5. Israel voices support: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement supporting the military action and saying that “President Trump sent a strong and clear message . . . that the use and spread of chemical weapons will not be tolerated.”

6. Mixed response from Congress: Initial reaction in Congress, including among lawmakers from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, was divided with Republicans and some Democrats voicing support for the action while other Democrats and libertarian-leaning Republicans said Trump should have sought congressional approval for the attack.

7. What it means for U.S.-Russia relations: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is still scheduled to meet next week with his Russian counterpart in Moscow despite renewed tensions between the two countries over the attack on the air base.
















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1 Philadelphia

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