U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

U.S., British and French forces struck Syria with more than 100 missiles on Saturday in the first coordinated Western strikes against the Damascus government, targeting what they said were chemical weapons sites in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced the military action from the White House, saying the three allies had “marshalled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality”.

Later he tweeted: “Mission accomplished”.

The bombing represents a major escalation in the West’s confrontation with Assad’s superpower ally Russia, but is unlikely to alter the course of a multi-sided war that has killed at least half a million people in the past seven years. (Reuters)

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<p>The destroyed Scientific Research Centre is seen in Damascus, Syria, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Omar Sanadiki/Reuters) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

The destroyed Scientific Research Centre is seen in Damascus, Syria, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Omar Sanadiki/Reuters)

<p>Syrian soldiers hold their weapons as they dance and chant slogans against U.S. President Trump during demonstrations following a wave of U.S., British and French military strikes to punish President Bashar Assad for suspected chemical attack against civilians, in Damascus, Syria, Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Hassan Ammar/AP) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

Syrian soldiers hold their weapons as they dance and chant slogans against U.S. President Trump during demonstrations following a wave of U.S., British and French military strikes to punish President Bashar Assad for suspected chemical attack against civilians, in Damascus, Syria, Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Hassan Ammar/AP)

<p>A Syrian soldier sprays water on the wreckage of a building described as part of the Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) compound in the Barzeh district, north of Damascus, during a press tour organised by the Syrian information ministry, on April 14, 2018. (Photo: Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

A Syrian soldier sprays water on the wreckage of a building described as part of the Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) compound in the Barzeh district, north of Damascus, during a press tour organised by the Syrian information ministry, on April 14, 2018. (Photo: Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>This picture taken on April 14, 2018 shows the wreckage of a building described as part of the Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) compound in the Barzeh district, north of Damascus, during a press tour organised by the Syrian information ministry. (Photo: Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

This picture taken on April 14, 2018 shows the wreckage of a building described as part of the Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) compound in the Barzeh district, north of Damascus, during a press tour organised by the Syrian information ministry. (Photo: Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Col Gen Sergei Rudskoi, chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces’ General Staff, holds a press briefing on airstrikes launched by the US, UK, and France against Syria. (Photo: Vadim Savitsky/TASS via Getty Images) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

Col Gen Sergei Rudskoi, chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces’ General Staff, holds a press briefing on airstrikes launched by the US, UK, and France against Syria. (Photo: Vadim Savitsky/TASS via Getty Images)

<p>Damascus skies erupt with surface to air missile fire as the U.S. launches an attack on Syria targeting different parts of the Syrian capital Damascus, Syria, early Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Hassan Ammar/AP) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

Damascus skies erupt with surface to air missile fire as the U.S. launches an attack on Syria targeting different parts of the Syrian capital Damascus, Syria, early Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Hassan Ammar/AP)

<p>A Typhoon aircraft prepares for landing at the British Royal Air Force base in Akrotiri, near costal city of Limassol in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, early Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Petros Karadjias/AP) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

A Typhoon aircraft prepares for landing at the British Royal Air Force base in Akrotiri, near costal city of Limassol in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, early Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Petros Karadjias/AP)

<p>The guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) fires a Tomahawk land attack missile early Saturday, April 14, 2018, as part of the military response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons on April 7. (Photo: Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Trey Fowler/U.S. Navy via AP) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

The guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) fires a Tomahawk land attack missile early Saturday, April 14, 2018, as part of the military response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons on April 7. (Photo: Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Trey Fowler/U.S. Navy via AP)

<p>Syria air defences strike back after air strikes by U.S., British and French forces in Damascus, Syria in this combination photo of still images obtained from video dated early April 14, 2018. (Photo: SYRIA TV via Reuters TV) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

Syria air defences strike back after air strikes by U.S., British and French forces in Damascus, Syria in this combination photo of still images obtained from video dated early April 14, 2018. (Photo: SYRIA TV via Reuters TV)

<p>This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows smoke, rising after U.S.-led airstrikes targeting different parts of the Syrian capital Damascus in retaliation for the country’s alleged use of chemical weapons early Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: SANA via AP) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows smoke, rising after U.S.-led airstrikes targeting different parts of the Syrian capital Damascus in retaliation for the country’s alleged use of chemical weapons early Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: SANA via AP)

<p>Dassault Rafale fighter aircrafts prepare to take off for airstrikes in Syria from St Didier airbase, eastern France on April 13, 2018. (Photo: French Defense Ministry/ECPAD via AP) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

Dassault Rafale fighter aircrafts prepare to take off for airstrikes in Syria from St Didier airbase, eastern France on April 13, 2018. (Photo: French Defense Ministry/ECPAD via AP)

<p>Damascus is seen as the U.S. launches an attack on Syria targeting different parts of the capital early Saturday, April 14, 2018. Syria’s capital has been rocked by loud explosions that lit up the sky with heavy smoke as U.S. President Donald Trump announced airstrikes in retaliation for the country’s alleged use of chemical weapons. (Photo: Hassan Ammar/AP) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

Damascus is seen as the U.S. launches an attack on Syria targeting different parts of the capital early Saturday, April 14, 2018. Syria’s capital has been rocked by loud explosions that lit up the sky with heavy smoke as U.S. President Donald Trump announced airstrikes in retaliation for the country’s alleged use of chemical weapons. (Photo: Hassan Ammar/AP)

<p>A Typhoon aircraft prepares for landing at British Royal Air Forces base in Akrotiri, near costal city of Limassol in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, early Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Petros Karadjias/AP) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

A Typhoon aircraft prepares for landing at British Royal Air Forces base in Akrotiri, near costal city of Limassol in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, early Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Petros Karadjias/AP)

<p>A crewman directs a Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft before taking off from Saint Dizier airbase, eastern France, for an airstrike in Syria, April 14, 2018. (Photo: French Defense Ministry/ECPAD via AP) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

A crewman directs a Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft before taking off from Saint Dizier airbase, eastern France, for an airstrike in Syria, April 14, 2018. (Photo: French Defense Ministry/ECPAD via AP)

<p>Damascus skies erupt with missile fire as the U.S. launches an attack on Syria targeting different parts of the capital Syria, early Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Hassan Ammar/AP) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

Damascus skies erupt with missile fire as the U.S. launches an attack on Syria targeting different parts of the capital Syria, early Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Hassan Ammar/AP)

<p>Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., director, Joint Staff, speaks as he shows photographs from before and after the U.S.-led airstrikes against Syria during a media availability at the Pentagon, Saturday, April 14, 2018, in Washington. (Photo: Alex Brandon/AP) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., director, Joint Staff, speaks as he shows photographs from before and after the U.S.-led airstrikes against Syria during a media availability at the Pentagon, Saturday, April 14, 2018, in Washington. (Photo: Alex Brandon/AP)

<p>Smoke rises after airstrikes targeting different parts of the Syrian capital Damascus, Syria, early Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Hassan Ammar/AP) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

Smoke rises after airstrikes targeting different parts of the Syrian capital Damascus, Syria, early Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Hassan Ammar/AP)

<p>In this image released by Britain’s Ministry of Defense, an RAF Tornado comes into land at Britain Royal Air Force base in Akrotiri, Cyprus, after its mission to conduct strikes in support of operations over the Middle East Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Cpl L Matthews/MoD via AP) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

In this image released by Britain’s Ministry of Defense, an RAF Tornado comes into land at Britain Royal Air Force base in Akrotiri, Cyprus, after its mission to conduct strikes in support of operations over the Middle East Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Cpl L Matthews/MoD via AP)

<p>A Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft is prepared for airstrikes in Syria at Saint Dizier airbase, eastern France, April 14, 2018. (Photo: French Defense Ministry/ECPAD via AP) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

A Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft is prepared for airstrikes in Syria at Saint Dizier airbase, eastern France, April 14, 2018. (Photo: French Defense Ministry/ECPAD via AP)

<p>President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House on Friday, April 13, 2018, in Washington, about the United States’ military response to Syria’s chemical weapon attack on April 7. (Photo: Susan Walsh/AP) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House on Friday, April 13, 2018, in Washington, about the United States’ military response to Syria’s chemical weapon attack on April 7. (Photo: Susan Walsh/AP)

<p>Damascus skies erupt with anti-aircraft fire and smoke as the U.S. launches an attack on Syria targeting different parts of the Syrian capital Damascus, early Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Hassan Ammar/AP) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

Damascus skies erupt with anti-aircraft fire and smoke as the U.S. launches an attack on Syria targeting different parts of the Syrian capital Damascus, early Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Hassan Ammar/AP)

<p>In this image released by Britain’s Ministry of Defense, an RAF Tornado taxis into its hangar after landing at Britain Royal Air Force base in Akrotiri, Cyprus, after its mission to conduct strikes in support of operations over the Middle East Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Cpl L Matthews/MoD via AP) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

In this image released by Britain’s Ministry of Defense, an RAF Tornado taxis into its hangar after landing at Britain Royal Air Force base in Akrotiri, Cyprus, after its mission to conduct strikes in support of operations over the Middle East Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Cpl L Matthews/MoD via AP)

<p>Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May during a press conference in 10 Downing Street, London, Saturday, April 14, 2018. British Prime Minister Theresa May says the need to act quickly and protect “operational security” led her to strike Syria without a prior vote in Parliament. (Photo: Simon Dawson/Pool Photo via AP) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May during a press conference in 10 Downing Street, London, Saturday, April 14, 2018. British Prime Minister Theresa May says the need to act quickly and protect “operational security” led her to strike Syria without a prior vote in Parliament. (Photo: Simon Dawson/Pool Photo via AP)

<p>A Typhoon aircraft prepares for landing at the British Royal Air Force base in Akrotiri, near costal city of Limassol in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, early Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Petros Karadjias/AP) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

A Typhoon aircraft prepares for landing at the British Royal Air Force base in Akrotiri, near costal city of Limassol in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, early Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Petros Karadjias/AP)

<p>French Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, right, and French Defense Minister Florence Parly give an official statement in the press room after attending an emergency meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, France, Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Michel Euler, Pool/AP) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

French Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, right, and French Defense Minister Florence Parly give an official statement in the press room after attending an emergency meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, France, Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Michel Euler, Pool/AP)

<p>In this image released by Britain’s Ministry of Defense, a Tornado pilot checks the weapons on his Tornado at Britain Royal Air Force base in Akrotiri, Cyprus, after its mission to conduct strikes in support of operations over the Middle East Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Cpl L Matthews/MoD via AP) </p>
U.S., British and French forces launch airstrikes on Syria

In this image released by Britain’s Ministry of Defense, a Tornado pilot checks the weapons on his Tornado at Britain Royal Air Force base in Akrotiri, Cyprus, after its mission to conduct strikes in support of operations over the Middle East Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Photo: Cpl L Matthews/MoD via AP)

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