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Friday evening, the United States launched missile strikes on Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack brought by Assad's regime on Syrian civilians. President Trump said the strikes were carried out in cooperation with Britain and France.

In a briefing at the Pentagon, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford, along with British and French counterparts, announced that three targets in Syria were "struck and destroyed." All of which were specifically associated with the Syrian regime's chemical weapons program.

Defense Secretary James Mattis announced earlier in the Pentagon briefing, "tonight France, the United Kingdom and United States took decisive measures to scrape the Syrian weapons infrastructure... clearly the Assad regime did not get the message last year."

  • General Dunford detailed in the briefing tonight the first target was a scientific research center in the greater Damascus area, specifically for testing chemical and biological warfare.
  • The second was chemical weapon storage facility west of Homs, Syria, Dunford added "this was the primary location of Syrian sarin...production equipment."
  • The third target was in the vicinity Homs, and contained a chemical weapons equipment storage facility and was an important Syrian command post.

In his announcement, Trump singled out Iran and Russia regarding their response to the chemical attacks: “To Iran and Russia I ask: what kind of nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?... We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents.”

  • Trump continued saying, “These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster instead... The purpose of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons."

The big picture: The strike comes on the heels of the U.S. declaring that Bashar al-Assad's regime carried out the chemical attack that killed dozens of civilians last Saturday. It also comes one year after Trump decided on pinprick strikes in response to another regime attack.

The AP is reporting "loud explosions light up skies over Syrian capital, heavy smoke as President Trump announces airstrikes." Reuters confirmed the U.S.' use of Tomahawk missiles in the latest strike, the same missiles used in the strike on Syria one year ago.

The UK's Theresa May has announced a coordinated response, "This evening I have authorised British armed forces to conduct co-ordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the Syrian Regime’s chemical weapons capability and deter their use... And while this action is specifically about deterring the Syrian Regime, it will also send a clear signal to anyone else who believes they can use chemical weapons with impunity."

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Virginia attorney general fires Jan. 6 investigator from university post

McIntire Amphitheater at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. Photo: Robert Knopes/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The lead investigator for the Jan. 6 House select committee investigating the Capitol riot has been fired from his position as the University of Virginia's counsel by the state's new Republican attorney general, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Democrats say the removal of Tim Heaphy from his post after some three years while he's on leave from the university to investigate the insurrection is likely "retribution" for the House probe — an accusation strongly denied by the office of state Attorney General Jason Miyares (R).

5 hours ago - World

Taiwan's military scrambles jets after detecting 39 Chinese warplanes

J-20 stealth fighter jets in Zhuhai in the Guangdong Province of China last year. Photo: Chen Jimin/China News Service via Getty Images

Taiwan's defense force said 39 Chinese warplanes flew into its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Sunday.

Why it matters: The largest Chinese air force incursion into the zone since October came a day after the U.S. and Japanese navies conducted a joint exercise in the Philippine Sea.

6 hours ago - Sports

Gonzaga University revokes NBA great John Stockton's tickets over mask stance

Former Utah Jazz player John Stockton during a 2017 press conference in Salt Lake City. Photo: Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Gonzaga University suspended the season tickets of notable alumni John Stockton after the NBA Hall of Famer failed to comply with the school's basketball games mask mandate, the Spokesman-Review first reported.

Driving the news: "Basically, it came down to, they were asking me to wear a mask to the games and being a public figure, someone a little bit more visible, I stuck out in the crowd a little bit," the former Utah Jazz point guard told the outlet in an interview Saturday.