Press TV – The White House says the US is open to the possibility of further missile strikes in Syria.
“The sight of people being gassed and blown away by barrel bombs ensures that if we see this kind of action again, we hold open the possibility of future action,” said White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Monday.
On Friday, US President Donald Trump ordered the military to carry out a barrage of missile strikes against a Syrian airfield. Spicer noted that the strikes had been carried out in response to “the threat to our national security.”
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has said her country was ready to hit Syria again. On Sunday, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson warned that the US could strike Syria again.
Trump said the operation was in response to a suspected chemical attack, which Washington insisted was carried out by Syrian fighter jets operating from the base.
Syria has categorically denied carrying out the gas attack, with the foreign minister stressing that an Idlib airstrike had targeted a depot, where terrorists stored chemical weapons.
Russia knew about Syria chemical attack
Earlier, US Senator John McCain claimed that Russia had cooperated with the government in Damascus in the chemical attack.
“The Russians knew about chemical weapons because they were operating exactly from the same base,” he said.
He added that the attack on the Syrian airbase was “in a response of a chemical attack.” “I hope that this behavior by Syria, in what clearly is cooperation with Russia and Syria together, will never happen again,” he added.
Pentagon: Strike destroyed 20 percent of Syrian air force
Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has announced that last week’s strike destroyed one-fifth of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s operational air force.
“The assessment of the Department of Defense is that the strike resulted in the damage or destruction of fuel and ammunition sites, air defense capabilities, and 20 percent of Syria’s operational aircraft,” he said in a statement.
The Syrian government has lost the ability to refuel or re-arm aircraft at Shayrat airfield and at this point, use of the runway is of idle military interest,” he added.
Last week, a Pentagon official claimed that at least 20 Syrian fighter jets were blown up in the US military’s missile attack on the Syrian airbase.