What we know about the Syria air strikes so far

What we know about the Syria air strikes so far
Damascus skies erupt with missile fire as the U.S. launches an attack on Syria targeting different parts of the capital Syria, early Saturday, April 14, 2018. Syria's capital has been rocked by loud explosions that lit up the sky with heavy smoke as U.S. President Donald Trump announced airstrikes in retaliation for the country's alleged use of chemical weapons. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

The US, UK and France have launched co-ordinated missile strikes on Syria following a "despicable" chemical weapons attack on the town of Douma.

Here is what we know so far:

- Strikes were launched at 2am BST at three sites connected with the Syrian regime's chemical weapons programme.

- The first was at a scientific research centre in greater Damascus involved in the development and production of chemical weapons, the second at a chemical weapons storage facility near Homs, and the third at a chemical equipment storage facility and important command post.

- The US said "important infrastructure" had been destroyed, resulting in the loss of years of research and development for the Syrian regime.

- Four Royal Air Force Tornados contributed to the strikes, launching Storm Shadow missiles.

- US Defence Secretary James Mattis said double the number of weapons had been used in the strikes compared with the 2017 Shayrat missile strike which involved 59 US Tomahawk cruise missiles and was launched in response to the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack.

- Mr Mattis and General Joseph Dunford said there were no reports of any allied losses. Syrian state-run TV later reported that three civilians had been wounded.

- General Dunford described the operation as a "one-time shot", and said no additional attacks were planned, but added that the powers that had signed the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had every reason to challenge Syrian President Bashar Assad if he chose to violate it. The allies remained in close consultation, he said.

- The only retaliatory action was some Syrian surface-to-air missile activity, the US said.

- General Dunford confirmed there was no co-ordination with the Russians and that they were not given prior notification of the strikes.

Prime Minister Theresa May during a press conference in 10 Downing Street, London on the air strikes against Syria. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
Prime Minister Theresa May during a press conference in 10 Downing Street, London on the air strikes against Syria. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

- Prime Minister Theresa May said the decision to launch the strikes was not taken lightly, but she believed it to be in the UK's national interest.

- Every possible diplomatic channel had been explored prior to the strikes, Mrs May added.

- Syrian state TV called the attacks a "blatant violation of international law and shows contempt for international legitimacy".

- US President Donald Trump condemned Syria's two main allies, Russia and Iran, for supporting "murderous dictators".

- In response, the Russian embassy in the US said it had warned that such actions would "not be left without consequences", adding that insulting President Vladimir Putin was "unacceptable and inadmissible".

- PA

More on this topic

Turkish patrol kills protester amid shaky truce in north-east SyriaTurkish patrol kills protester amid shaky truce in north-east Syria

13 killed in car bomb blast in Syrian town recently captured by Turkish backed opposition 13 killed in car bomb blast in Syrian town recently captured by Turkish backed opposition

US to move to protect Syrian oil fieldsUS to move to protect Syrian oil fields

Russia calls US move to protect Syrian oil fields ‘banditry’Russia calls US move to protect Syrian oil fields ‘banditry’

More in this Section

Johnson insists voting Tory ‘only way’ to deliver Brexit despite Farage threatJohnson insists voting Tory ‘only way’ to deliver Brexit despite Farage threat

Two-million-year-old molar fossil links extinct giant ape to living orangutanTwo-million-year-old molar fossil links extinct giant ape to living orangutan

Phage therapy hope for alcoholic liver diseasePhage therapy hope for alcoholic liver disease

Jeremy Corbyn under fire for saying IS leader should have been put on trialJeremy Corbyn under fire for saying IS leader should have been put on trial


Lifestyle

Aileen Lee meets Christina Kenny - co-founder and design director of Lamb Design - to talk about her work and inspirations.Christina Kenny of Lamb Design: ‘I love bringing the outside in and inside out’

Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her career and the worth of luxury fastion. By Paul McLachen.From Marc Jacobs to her own label, Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her life in fashion

The recent sentencing of two teenage boys for the murder of Ana Kriégel has once again brought the issue of pornography into public discourse. The details of the case, which are finally coming into public knowledge, illuminate some very worrying trends that are pervasive in the modern adolescent world and as parents and indeed as a society we can no longer languish in complacency.Learning Points: Hardcore porn can pollute our children’s minds

HUSBAND and wife Justin and Jenny Green run Ballyvolane House, in Castlelyons, Co Cork. The mansion and former dairy farm, which was built in 1728, is where Justin grew up. Raised to Scottish parents in Hong Kong, Jenny met fellow hotelier Justin while working in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Having worked in the UK and Bali, they returned to manage Ballyvolane House, as an Irish country house, in 2004.Parents for the Planet: Green family has greener outlook at country house

More From The Irish Examiner