US strikes air base in Syria following deadly chemical attack, Russia condemns

The US fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at an air base in Homs, from where Tuesday's chemical attack was launched, the Pentagon said.
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The United States carried out a missile strike Thursday night on an air base in Syria, from which Tuesday's deadly chemical attack in Idlib was launched.

US President Donald Trump said preventing the use of chemical weapons is a "vital national security interest of the United States." He also claimed that the international community has been ignoring the atrocities in Syria for long enough.

"Years of previous attempts at changing Assad’s behavior have all failed," Trump said. "As a result, the refugee crisis continues to deepen, and the region continues to destabilize, threatening the United States and its allies."

A spokesman for Russia's president Vladimir Putin said Friday morning that the strike was "significantly harmful" to relations between the US and Russia.

"(It) creates a serious obstacle for building of an international coalition to fight (terrorism) and to effectively resist this universal evil," the spokesman said.

Other countries, however, including France, the UK and Australia, fully backed the US decision to strike Syria following the chemical attack. Michael Fallon, the UK Defense Secretary, described the strike as "limited" and "wholly appropriate."

The Israeli government has also expressed its support of the strike, saying Trump had sent out "a clear message that the use and distribution of chemical weapons are intolerable."

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