120 missiles fired by the US and UK have targeted Syrian government facilities in an intense 70-minute bombing campaign from 4:00 AM to 5:10 AM Syrian time. Tomahawk missiles launched by US guided missile destroyers based in the Mediterranean struck a Syrian “Scientific Research” (chemical weapons) facility in Barzeh district inside Damascus city, as well as the Kiswah military base and Mezzeh airbase outside Damascus, and the Dumayr Airbase. American B-1 bombers were also reportedly used to launch cruise missiles at Syrian targets.
In addition, four Royal Air Force Tornado jets launched Storm Shadow cruise missiles at a Syrian military base and suspected chemical weapons facility 24 km west of Homs. The latter facility appears to be in Qusayr district, which is a stronghold for Iran-backed Hezbollah in Syria. French forces also reportedly took part in the attack, although their exact role in unclear.
Syrian air defense fired anti-aircraft rounds and many surface-to-air missiles in the Damascus area, downing multiple US tomahawk missiles. However, most targets were successfully hit, and major damage was inflicted to the airbases and chemical weapons facilities.
The goal of the strike as stated by the United States was to harm the Syrian government’s ability to use chemical weapons. The US strike was prompted by the claim that the Syrian government used chemical weapons, namely chlorine gas canisters, against civilians in the rebel-held town of Douma east of Damascus (which has since been taken by Syrian government forces). Syria’s government alongside its main allies Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah, has denied responsibility for the attack and claimed it was either fabricated by the UK to provide a reason to attack Syria, or was conducted by the rebels themselves to do the same.
Below is a map of locations and districts struck in the attack.