President Donald Trump appreciates US Navy for Syria attack

April 10, 2017 3:01 pm

President speaks with the commanding officers of the guided-missile destroyers USS Porter and USS Ross from Air Force One, with his National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, April 9, 2017. (Photo by the White House)

US President Donald Trump has called US Navy commanders to thank them for carrying out a missile attack against a Syrian airbase last week.
The US Navy’s USS Porter and USS Ross guided-missile destroyers fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the Mediterranean Sea at Syria’s al-Shayrat airfield early on Friday, in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack on April 6 that Washington insists was carried out by Syrian fighter jets operating from the base.
On Sunday, Trump, who ordered the attack without consulting Congress, gave a call to Commanders Russell Caldwell and Andria Slough (pictured below), leaders of the two warships respectively, thanking them and their crew for their “professionalism and quick response.”
Earlier in the day, Trump had congratulated the US Navy for the attack, praising the country’s “great military men and women for representing , and the world, so well in the Syria attack.”
While the US claims that the attack was highly successful and achieved all of its objectives, Russian and Syrian defense officials have raised doubts about its effectiveness.
The Russian Defense Ministry noted shortly after the US attack that only 23 missiles had landed on the airbase and the rest had missed their target. This is a significant loss for the US military because, according to the Pentagon, each Tomahawk missile has an estimated cost of over $1.8 million.
Russia also disputed Washington’s claims that 20 Syrian jets were destroyed in the attack, lowering the figure to 6. Some Russian media reports bumped up the number to 9 later on.
The attack did not seem to do much damage to Syria’s air power, which is reportedly comprised of more than 450 Russian-made jet fighters, including Mig-23, Mig-25 and Mig-29 military aircraft.

A view of the damaged Shayrat airfield at the Syrian government forces military base targeted earlier by US Tomahawk cruise missiles, southeast of the central and third largest Syrian city of Homs, April 7, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The attack came after the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s many victories against the militant groups. Syria reportedly used the air base a day after the attack to launch new airstrikes against terrorist positions across the country.
While the US has yet to release reports on the casualties of the attack, Damascus says several people were killed in the “blatant aggression” that made Washington a partner of “terrorist groups.”
Satellite imagery suggested that the base was also used by Russian military personnel, part of Moscow’s military campaign against terrorist targets in Syria. Washington said it had notified Russia of the attack beforehand.
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