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Reports: U.S. launches missile strikes on Syria

Reports: U.S. launches missile strikes on Syria

First reports are Tomahawk missile strikes.

There is breaking news on all the major networks that approximately 50 Tomahawk missiles were launched against Syrian air bases and other bases at which chemical weapons were stored.

The strikes come after what is believed to be Syrian Air Force chemical weapons attacks that killed dozens.

We will update as more details are known.

UPDATES:

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson addressed the media after Trump. He stated that the government has taken steps “on an international coalition to pressure Bashar Assad from power.” He also said that Russia needs to “consider carefully” its decision to keep supporting Assad:

Asked if the U.S. would organize a coalition to remove Assad, Tillerson said: “Those steps are underway.”

“It’s a serious matter, it requires a serious response,” Tillerson said, adding the recent attack “violates all previous U.N. resolutions, violates international norms and long-held agreements.”

https://twitter.com/timkmak/status/850173959089901568

Russian President Vladimir Putin has remained Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s fiercest ally since Syria broke out in its civil war six years ago. Reports have come in that Trump did not warn or give Putin a heads up about the strike.

Trump made the decision to conduct the airstrike when he met with his national security team before he dined with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Mar-a-Lago in Florida.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis continues to update Trump on the strikes.

From Fox News:

U.S. defense officials tell Fox that two warships based in the eastern Mediterranean, the USS Porter and the USS Ross, have been training for the past two days to execute this mission.

“Our forward deployed ships give us the capability to quickly respond to threats,” said a Navy official. “These strikes in Syria are a perfect example – this is why we’re there.”

The original plans called for two targets, the airbase and a chemical weapons storage facility. However, Pentagon planners decided late Thursday to target just the airbase.

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Comments

I would like to this opportunity to remind everyone of what I call Arminius’ rules of international diplomacy. Developed over 20 years of Naval service.

1. If you’re not willing to go all the way to Baghdad and finish the job, it’s none of your business if Iraq invades Kuwait.

2. Nation building is a stupid idea especially when someone suggests it after you, yourself, have reduced something to rubble in another country. You did it because it was supposed to hurt, remember?

It first dawned on me that we were ruled by idiots when Collin Powell articulated his “Pottery Barn” rule. Then this.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/2139573/Barack-Obama-aide-Why-Winnie-the-Pooh-should-shape-US-foreign-policy.html

I’m now an non-interventionist by instinct because during my twenty years I learned that the 99% my fellow Americans who weren’t involved and didn’t want to think about anything except going to the mall and their favorite sports team and Dancing With The Stars would vote to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and elect someone like Barack Obama. But I’m cool with this as long as Trump has the common sense to refuse the leftist howls that we are somehow responsible for putting a band-aid on whatever casualties he inflicted.

Screw Assad. Let him pick up the pieces. It’s the only way he’ll learn not to p*ss us off.

    Old0311 in reply to Arminius. | April 6, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    If you aren’t willing to use B-52’s over Hanoi sit down and shut up.

    Walker Evans in reply to Arminius. | April 6, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    Bravo Zulu! Well said sir. My retirement papers were in before the end of 1990 and were effective 13 days after the start of Desert Storm. I couldn’t believe we didn’t finish the job then, knowing that we would have to go back and do it again and, of course, that is just what happened. If you’re not willing to really finish a fight, don’t start!

    Hopefully our current CinC has what it takes to do just that; I believe he does but we’ll know soon. One thing is certain: if we don’t follow through, President Trump is going to start being called Obama II!

      Arminius in reply to Walker Evans. | April 7, 2017 at 12:03 am

      “…I couldn’t believe we didn’t finish the job then, knowing that we would have to go back and do it again and, of course, that is just what happened. If you’re not willing to really finish a fight, don’t start!”

      Nobody listens to us, bro. Our self-anointed betters would rather go to their own destruction than listen to us.

      I said the same thing in almost the exact same words in 1991. And you didn’t need a crystal ball, did you? We’re going to regret leaving our business unfinished.

      It was appalling. Especially as the decade wore on and first Bush 41 and then Clinton 42 publicly kept patting themselves on the back for how smart they were for not taking any of the provisions of they larded up the Safwan Accords with at all seriously. None of them were worth fighting for, they demonstrated time and again, but we needed to keep a military squatting in the desert or off the coast enforcing a load of crap they couldn’t bring themselves to get serious about. It wasn’t their lives they were risking.

      Appalling? I mean disgusting. But now it’s taken as gospel the bumbling ad hoc course of action that led into Iraq and Afghanistan is revealed wisdom. What makes it worse is they refuse to learn this, so they never proceed to the step of planning the inevitable extraction. At least, they’d have to be acknowledge it as inevitable if they gave a rat’s @$$.

I don’t like it. I don’t believe that Assad did it… but what do I know?

    Arminius in reply to Kaffa. | April 6, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    I can’t offer any definitive proof but circumstantial evidence leads me to believe even the Russians, who are now declaring that their support for the Syrian dictator isn’t unconditional, suspect Assad did this.

    Eddie Baby in reply to Kaffa. | April 6, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    I don’t give a crap who did. I was hoping we would disengage from these sh-tholes.

      Arminius in reply to Eddie Baby. | April 6, 2017 at 10:50 pm

      I wish we could disengage but for the time being we can’t. It’s too important a part of the world to abandon to the Russians and increasingly the Chinese. This is due to our own short-sightedness.

      What we need to do is reduce it to insignificance, then kick it to the curb. This will require cultural self-confidence as much as economic and military strength. But if we have it in us it can be done. The question is do we have it in us.

        Tom Servo in reply to Arminius. | April 7, 2017 at 12:14 am

        I think it’s significant that the Chinese President was with Trump when this happened. Nice way to let the Chinese know that we really might be about to take some drastic action with regard to the Norks.

I sincerely hope this response was not just a ” be tough” to Russia response.
My fear is Trump may get tired of this Russian hacked Election BS and take a more anti Russian tack .

The Democrats are really doing a disservice to America

    murkyv in reply to murkyv. | April 6, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    Never mind the counter. Live coverage, counter running bass-ackwards and moving.

    It’s in there somewhere.

John McCain carries the day….GROAN.

I think this was a contributing factor: Russia says support for Syria ‘not unconditional’ http://www.politico.eu/article/russia-says-support-for-syria-not-unconditional/

Featuring CBS “news” as a source on anything is a crap shoot, and mostly crap.

Why include it?

[Sarc alert] All Trump is doing is enforcing an Obama policy. 😉

    Arminius in reply to Ira. | April 7, 2017 at 12:47 am

    An Obama policy that Obama meant to remain unenforced.

    I can hardly wait for the schizo leftist response to this strike.

Both Trump’s base and the Democrat base hate the idea of involvement in a Middle East war. That’s 75% of the country that hates where this leads.

If he proceeds in Syria, or if Russia’s response forces him to proceed, then he’s done. GW Bush 2.0

    Old0311 in reply to rotten. | April 6, 2017 at 11:28 pm

    A nice strong hello has a better chance of a good result that Obama’s weak “line in the sand.”

    Walker Evans in reply to rotten. | April 6, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    There appears to be very little chance that this will escalate into a Middle East war. Syria’s neighbors may rattle sabres a bit – after all, it’s expected of them – but their relations with Assad’s regime have been strained, to say the least. (Iran will be belligerent, but … Iran.) I expect a massive public show of ruffled feathers in Moscow but privately Putin will breathe a sigh of relief that he didn’t have to deal with it.

    We’ll know for sure about all of this within a day, two at most.

    Walker Evans in reply to rotten. | April 6, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    There appears to be very little chance that this will escalate into a Middle East war. Syria’s neighbors may rattle sabres a bit – after all, it’s expected of them – but their relations with Assad’s regime have been strained, to say the least. (Iran will be belligerent, but … Iran.) I expect a massive public show of ruffled feathers in Moscow but privately Putin will breathe a sigh of relief that he didn’t have to deal with it.

    We’ll know for sure about all of this within a day, two at most.

      Tom Servo in reply to Walker Evans. | April 7, 2017 at 12:22 am

      The smart play for the Russians now is to back the replacement of Assad, they would go for it as long as it’s someone who still answers to them, and they will get to keep their bases. If Assad is removed, then the US will quickly lose interest and turn our attention to the Norks.

So what’s it going to be? Bomb them over there or refugees over here?

Connivin Caniff | April 6, 2017 at 11:21 pm

I can’t believe I voted for this campaign-promise-breaking jackass.

About 24 hours later than I expected, but I suppose tasking orders and downloading waypoints take longer than armchair admirals like me estimate. About as many cruise missiles as I guessed too, but I suppose they hit the airfield tonight and will plaster the chem weapons depot tomorrow night, since airplanes by their nature can be moved faster than giant tanks of lethal chemicals.

The two DDGs have most likely shot themselves dry of SSM cells since they carry a mix of Standards and Tomahawks, so tomorrow’s strike (if it happens, and it might not due to concerns about collateral gas damage) will be from an unexpected direction.

Interesting points: Military pundits are so positive that the old cruise missile system is dead meat to active AAA missile fire. I wonder if the Syrians shot down even *one* of them. Also, I wonder (but will probably never know) if any F-35 jets were lurking around in the vicinity to provide airborne surveillance and swat-down capacity if any of the Syrian aircraft had attempted to flee or attack.

Kobayashi Maru. The test everybody fails. Outmanuvered by Captain Trump.

It simply doesn’t matter whether the gas attack was real or whether it was Assad.

The weapons were destroyed, if they existed. Apparently we had reason to believe they did.

    davod in reply to Petrushka. | April 7, 2017 at 8:03 am

    The aircraft may have been destroyed, but the Sarin was not touched.

      amwick in reply to davod. | April 7, 2017 at 8:25 am

      That was intentional…

      I’ve backed off some from my first assumption that the chemical stockpiles would be the next to get blasted tonight. The word is proportion.

      i.e. imagine this line in worldwide news reports “Syria is supposed to have used chemical weapons to kill or injure a few hundred people, but Trump administration bombing of the secure concrete facility where raw chemicals were being stored made a poisonous plume of gas sweep across the town and caused thousands of civilian casualties. Shame! Shame! Indignation! Anger! Impeach!”

VaGentleman | April 7, 2017 at 6:21 am

Assad wasn’t the only one who should have gotten a message. The N Koreans should also take note. And we talk to the Chinese this weekend. Lotta bang for the buck from 1 strike.

Our enemies seem to test every new pres to see if he has any backbone.

Putin called it an attack on a sovereign nation. No,sir, Crimea and Ukraine were attacks on a sovereign nation. This was an attack on an international criminal.

smalltownoklahoman | April 7, 2017 at 7:12 am

And Trump just revealed he’s going to take a far firmer stand against rouge regimes than Obama ever would! The question that weighs heavily on my mind now though is: What happens over there next? Big concern: are we sending troops over there (and not just as advisors) before summer? If we take Assad out who replaces his regime and will it be better for the region? I don’t want us creating another Libya, especially so close to Israel! If we’re going to nation build are we really going to stick with it this time to ensure that whatever replaces Assad that it is stable and far friendlier to the region and the world than what was there before?

casualobserver | April 7, 2017 at 8:00 am

This action is much more than a message to Syria and Assad. At the very least it’s a message to the entire region of not the crazy far kid, too. And I think I’m part it may be a way of forcing Russia’s hand somewhat, too.

*sigh* I had hoped that Trump would have smart enough not to succumb to the taking the easy way out, in international affairs. Maybe that was wishful thinking.

What happened here is that the United States unilaterally decided to attack the government of a sovereign nation in violation of a whole slew of international laws and norms. And, the reason given does not provide adequate justification for the action.

That a release of a weaponized chemical compound occurred has been established. What has not been established, with any real credibility, is what chemical was released, how it was released, by whom was t released and was it done intentionally or accidentally. There are a number of reasons why the reports on this incident are suspect. The first is that the chemical was identified as sarin. Yet, no corroborating evidence has been presented to support that. This is an important point, as other weaponized chemicals, such as chlorine gas, are not prohibited under existing compacts. Second, there are conflicting accounts as to exactly who was in possession of the chemical substance, how the release occurred and no firm evidence has been presented to allow for a clear determination to be made as to the who, how and why of this incident.

And, then there is the fact that the US had NO authority under international law and norms to launch this attack at all. If the government of Syria perpetrated this attack, it was not directed at the US, her interests or any state allies or friends. The US acted unilaterally, not as a member of any recognized group of sovereign states. It did not act under the auspices of any international treaty or compact which granted it the authority to attack the government of another sovereign nation.

The 2003 invasion of Iraq was legally justified under international law. A state of war still existed, technically, between the United States, as a member of the original coalition against the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1991, and Iraq. Iraq existed under a ceasefire agreement, the terms of which Iraq had been repeatedly violating for a decade. And still, President Bush sought and obtained international support for the invasion, even though it was not required. In this case, no legal authority exists for the attack on Syria. No international support was sought. No case has been made for the use of force against a sovereign nation. The international community would be legally justified in taking action against the US in this case.

I know all the arguments about how this will “send a message” to nations we are at odds with, such as NK, China, Russia, etc. But the message is not one that we might want to send. This message simply says that we can be the biggest bully around, so get in line or else. It is a technique which has been used by thugs since the dawn of time. And not one with which am comfortable being a part of.

I think that the President is going to find himself hard pressed to provide adequate justification for this action and its timing. We’ll just have to wait and see how this all plays out.

You all do remember that we have Marine artillery on the ground in Syria right? The attack could have easily been on them instead of civilians. So I think sending a message to Assad like Reagan did to Qaddafi is not a bad idea. I’m also sure those Marines are very happy that someone showed some balls and let them know they aren’t going to be left hanging with no support like Benghazi.

    Mac45 in reply to scaulen. | April 7, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    You do realize that now, under international law, Syria, or he allies are free to declare US forces in Syria to be legitimate targets and bomb the crap out of them, don’t you?

    Wake up. The USA just committed another act of war against Syria. By attacking Syria, in violation of international law, the US has just become another rogue state. Let’s hope that the rest of the civilized world does not decide to treat us as one.

      scaulen in reply to Mac45. | April 7, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      Sorry but they used outlawed chemical weapons, they broke the law. No telling what the next target would have been, or what they would have threatened to do. They now know what our reaction will be to the next attack using chemical agents. I’m surprised that we didn’t hit the chem facility with something hot enough to make sure there was no fall out. I think he used an excellent example of Reagan cowboy diplomacy, worked very well to calm Qaddafi down and I think it should work well for Assad.

        Mac45 in reply to scaulen. | April 7, 2017 at 4:51 pm

        Actually, we have no firm evidence that the Assad government used any chemical weapons at all. All of the sources in the area are highly suspect. However, there is NO doubt whatsoever that the US launched a direct attack against elements of the government of a sovereign nation without any lawful authority. This constitutes and act of war and Syria, and her allies, would be well within their rights, under internaitonal law to treat US troops in Syria as enemy combatants and blow them away. Let us hope that they are so cowed that they do not do something like that. But, you never know.

      Arminius in reply to Mac45. | April 7, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      You, sir, are talking out of your @$$. According to press reports the Russians have responded by sending the ADM Grigorovich into the Med to surveil the US warships that fired the Tomohawks. The ADM Grigorovich is a Black Sea Fleet frigate, the namesake of her class. She is not nothing. But she’s less than half the displacement of a single Arleigh Burke DDG with the concomitant reduction in armament.

      It is my educated guess that the Tomahawks were launched by a pair of Arleigh Burkes, but I could be wrong and we’re talking a pair of Aegis cruisers or a mixed double. Either way the ADM Grigorovich is seriously outclassed. I know it, the skipper of the ADM Grigorovich knows it, Putin knows it, and Trump knows it, even if you don’t. Sending her meets the bare minimum of doing something. The Russians didn’t send a flea after the Greyhound Navy that launched the strike, but they made sure to send no more than a sturdy terrier to track them. They do not want to escalate the situation. Neither does Assad.

      International law is one thing. The real world is another. Lenin’s advice was to probe with the bayonet. If you find mush, keep probing. If you find steel, back off. Assad and Putin have just found steel.

        Mac45 in reply to Arminius. | April 7, 2017 at 4:58 pm

        Let’s talk reality, shall we?

        In the real world, one would not expect a major world power would launch an unprovoked attack against a small sovereign nation without securing legal authority or, at least, public support for the action from other first world nations. And, one would not expect a reasonable world power do so in such a fashion as to possibly cause a reaction which would draw that power into direct military conflict with another world power or powers. This is the type of incident which started WWI. Yet, the USA did just that. Now, we will have to hope that Russia, China, Iran and the rest of the world does not react the same way and attack our nation, people or interests. But, this being the real world, they may just decide to attack the new rogue nation on the block, before it decides to attack them because of their internal political actions.

          Arminius in reply to Mac45. | April 7, 2017 at 6:58 pm

          I stand ready to talk reality whenever you quit these flights of fantasy of yours.

          Arminius in reply to Mac45. | April 7, 2017 at 7:03 pm

          A couple of months from now, when this remains a non-issue, are you finally going to say you were wrong?

          Arminius in reply to Mac45. | April 7, 2017 at 7:14 pm

          ARMAGEDDON! Trump’s Syria strike to end world as we know it. Women, Children, minorities hardest hit. Major motion picture documenting Trump failure now in production. See how tomorrow’s cataclysmic events were no accident but engineered by white supremacists like Steve Bannon.

          Your life depends on this movie. Do not wait.

          In theaters New Year’s Day 2019.

          scaulen in reply to Mac45. | April 8, 2017 at 1:06 pm

          Reality is that the only people upset about this are Democrats, Russians and Iranians. Kinda says something doesn’t it. Seems like most of the world has been waiting for Assad’s dick punch that is many years overdo. Good old fashioned cowboy diplomacy again. Now it’s time to find weaknesses and twist.

    Arminius in reply to scaulen. | April 7, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    We have more than Marines there. Since the USAF doesn’t seem to have an embassy present to represent its interests I, swabbie, will take on the job.

    http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=71188

    “Staff Sgt. Austin Bieren, 25, of Umatilla, Oregon, died March 28 in northern Syria in a non-combat-related incident while deployed in support of combat operations.

    He was assigned to the 21st Space Wing at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.”

    The article goes on to say that according to his Facebook page he was a “Tactical Response Force Assaulter” and a “Security Manager” at Peterson AFB. I don’t know what that means but if he was sent to Syria he was no run-of-the-mill zoomie.

    A grateful nation thanks you, SSGT Beiren, and joins your family to mourn your passing.

    If I haven’t made myself clear up until now, let me take the opportunity to do so. I am more than happy with what Trump did. I just hope he doesn’t have idiot advisers like Colin Powell with his nonsense, “You break it, you bought it” rule. Bulls**t! No more nation building. The idea that we can’t engage in military action without first having a plan to undo what we have done is insane.

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