Iranian drone Israel shot down was armed: IDF

Pro-Assad forces empty airports bases Syrian monitor group

Pro-Assad forces empty airports bases Syrian monitor group

Moments after President Donald Trump concluded his seven-minute broadcast Friday announcing the start of precision airstrikes on Syrian government facilities associated with the development of chemical weapons, loud explosions shook Damascus.

Trump said the U.S.is prepared to sustain pressure on Assad until he ends what the president called a criminal pattern of killing his own people with internationally banned chemical weapons.

"Tonight, led by the Americans, the U.S., France and Britain acted appropriately", an Israeli official said on condition of anonymity in a statement issued in Jerusalem.

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He says the overnight operation carried out by the United States, France and Britain followed that example.

"The US - the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons - has no moral right to blame other countries", he said.

More: Syria conflict explained: How did we end up here?

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In a news conference Friday evening, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the USA -led coalition used double the number of weapons as last year's strike, which involved 58 US missiles and was also in response to the use of chemical weapons by Assad's military.

A number of strikes on targets in Syria have been attributed to Israel. "We need to. weaken them militarily in a significant way". The first air strike ordered by Trump occurred in April past year.

The advanced Iranian drone believed to be a copy of a U.S. stealth drone that was downed in Iran in 2011, took off from the T-4 airbase deep in the Syrian province of Homs and crossed into Israeli territory via Jordanian airspace.

He added that "those responsible must be held accountable".

Trump's United Nations ambassador, Nikki Haley, said the president had not yet made a final decision, two days after he tweeted that Russian Federation should "get ready" because a missile attack "will be coming" at Moscow's chief Middle East ally.

The U.S. has said the strikes targeted a research center in greater Damascus, a chemical weapons storage facility and another storage facility and command center, both in Homs.

Several Iranian military advisers were killed in that attack, including a colonel who served as a senior officer in Iran's drone program, according to Iranian news reports, and Iran has threatened to retaliate.

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