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All targets in Syria hit successfully, Pentagon says

Officials from the U.S. Department of Defense said on Saturday that a joint US-British-French operation against Syria’s regime had “successfully hit every target,” countering assertions from Russia that dozens of missiles were intercepted.

“We do not seek conflict in Syria, but we cannot allow such grievous violations of international law,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White told reporters. “We successfully hit every target…The strikes were justified, legitimate and proportionate.”

White said the U.S. focus remains on defeating Islamic State. “It is not to get involved in the Syrian civil war.”

She noted that Washington is “still assessing” which chemicals were used in the gas attack in Syria’s Douma, which prompted the strikes, adding, however, that the Pentagon was “confident of the evidence we already had.”

Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie, who also participated in the briefing, said three sites that are “fundamental components of the regime’s chemical weapons infrastructure” were struck.

The operation was “precise, overwhelming and effective,” he said, adding it will set Syria’s chemical weapons program back “for years.”

McKenzie noted that strikes overwhelmed the Syrian air defense system, and none of the allied aircraft or missiles were successfully engaged by the regime, which employed 40 surface-to-air missiles.

“No Syrian weapon had any effect on anything that we did,” he underscored.

To carry out the strikes, the U.S. used three ships, a submarine and two B-1 bombers, with USS Monterey and USS Laboon firing from the Red Sea, USS Higgins from the northern Persian Gulf and USS John Warner from the Mediterranean.

According to McKenzie, the deconfliction line with Russia for operations in Syria was used in a “routine” way after the operation.

Contrary to the Pentagon statements, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed that most of the fired missiles were intercepted by Syria’s air defenses.

US, UK, and France strike Syria chemical weapons targets

with reporting from AFP

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