The world woke up to media reports that US President Donald Trump had authorised the firing of 59 Tomahawk crusie missiles at a Syrian air base where the chemical attack was launched in retaliation to the use of chemical weapons against Syrian citizens earlier this week.
The media have been awash with reactions from countries against and for the intervention of the US in Syria’s six-year civil war, Russia has expressed its displeasure at the attack and threatened to terminate co-operation with US military while Donald Trump has received backing from Israel, UK, Turkey among others.
Below is the sequence of events that led to the airstrikes on the Syrian air base around 3:40 a.m. Friday local time (8:40 p.m. Thursday ET).
1.) Chemical weapons attack in the northwestern Syria’s Idlib province on Tuesday, April 4 killed 86 people including 26 children which changed Donald Trump’s earlier stance not authorise military action in the war-torn country.
2.) The Syrian government denied using chemical weapons, but several countries, including the United States, said they believed the regime was responsible for the attack.
3.) As photos from the attack’s aftermath circulated on social media, so did the outrage. Trump was not immune to the horror either and admitted the images changed his thinking on Syria.
4.) Until the airstrikes, Trump gave no indication of what he was about to do as the airstrikes happened less than an hour after he had finished dinner with the Chinese president Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Florida.
5.) The United States started launching airstrikes in Syria in September 2014 under President Barack Obama, but it had targeted only the ISIS terrorist group and not government forces.
6.) According to the Pentagon, the strike occurred during minimal activity at the base and targeted various items, including petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers and air defense systems, the Pentagon said
7.) Syria described the US airstrike as an “erroneous American strategy.” Its armed forces said the strike killed six people and wounded several others.