Apr 14, 2018

Pentagon: "As of now" there are no civilian casualties in Syria

Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie said in a press briefing Saturday morning that the Pentagon is not aware of any civilian casualties, and announced that since the strike the U.S. has "not seen any military response from actors within Syria."

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White added that Friday night's U.S. strikes against Syria "does not represent a change in U.S. policy," and the the U.S. does "not seek conflict in Syria."

The details: McKenzie said 105 missiles were launched against the three targets in cooperation with France and the United Kingdom. He reaffirmed the conclusion announced last night that the designated targets were successfully destroyed.

  • The weapons were delivered from British, French and U.S. air and naval platforms in the Red Sea, Northern Arabian Gulf, and Eastern Mediterranean Sea, McKenzie reported. All weapons hit their targets at "very close" to the designated time on target.

There is "no indication that Russian air defense systems were employed," McKenzie said. However, both White and McKenzie called out Russia for ignoring international chemical warfare law.

  • White added that the Pentagon is "very confident we have crippled Assad's ability to produce" chemical weapons.
  • This strike was two times as large as last year's, per McKenzie.
  • The three words McKenzie used to describe the attack: "Precise, overwhelming, and effective."

What next? White said that "depends on what the Assad regime decides to do.”

Go deeper: The Department of Defense released footage of the strike.

  • The video shows a guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) firing a Tomahawk land attack missile on April 14, 2018.

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The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

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