World on edge as Trump bombs Syria

by

April 08, 2017
In this image provided by the U.S. Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) launches a tomahawk land attack missile in the Mediterranean Sea, yesterday.
AP Dozens of members of a Turkish trade union carry black-painted coffins with images of the attack's child victims, in protest of this week's chemical weapons attack that killed more than 80 people in northern Syria, in Ankara, Turkey, yesterday.
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BEIRUT (AP):

World leaders rallied around the United States after it launched a missile strike early yesterday on a Syrian airbase in response to this week's chemical attack, while Russia condemned the move as "aggression" and suspended crucial coordination with Washington in Syria's congested skies.

The overnight missile attack, which marked the first time the US has directly targeted Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces, was condemned by his allies in Russia and Iran, but welcomed by the Syrian opposition and its supporters, who expressed hope it signalled a turning point in the devastating six-year-old civil war.

The bombing represents Trump's most dramatic military order since taking office, and thrusts the US administration deeper into the complex Syrian conflict. The Obama administration threatened to attack Assad's forces after previous chemical attacks, but never followed through.

About 60 US Tomahawk missiles hit the Shayrat airbase, a small installation with two runways, where aircraft often take off to bomb targets in northern and central Syria.

Assad's office called the US missile strike "reckless" and "irresponsible". The Syrian military said at least seven people were killed and nine wounded.

The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin believes the US strike is an "aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international law".

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