Pentagon Says It's Not Conducting Missile Strikes: Syria UpdateBy
A Syrian airbase was hit with a missile attack early on Monday, the country’s official news agency reported, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump warned of a “big price to pay” in response to reports of a chemical attack outside the nation’s capital.
The Pentagon said it wasn’t conducting airstrikes, with a spokesman saying that “we continue to closely watch the situation.” The use of chemical weapons in April 2017 provoked a U.S. missile strike, the first direct American hit on Bashar al-Assad’s regime since the conflict in Syria began in March 2011.
Rescue workers and activists said dozens died over the weekend in a chemical assault amid renewed fire by Assad’s government on a rebel stronghold near Damascus.
Here are the latest developments (time stamps are local):
Pentagon Says Not Conducting Airstrikes (5:36 a.m.)
“At this time, the Department of Defense is not conducting air strikes in Syria,” Pentagon spokesmanChristopher Sherwood said in statement. “However, we continue to closely watch the situation and support the ongoing diplomatic efforts to hold those who use chemical weapons, in Syria and otherwise, accountable”
Syria Shoots Down 8 Missiles in Base Attack: Sana (4:52 a.m.)
Syria said it shot down eight missiles in the attack Monday morning on an air base, Syria’s official Sana news agency reported. It said there were a number of fatalities and injuries in the strike.
Trump, Macron Discuss Response to Chemical Attack (4:46 a.m.)
Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron “agreed to exchange information on the nature of the attacks and coordinate a strong, joint response,” the White House said in statement on their phone call.
Pentagon Denies Reports of U.S.-Syria Strike: WSJ (4:39 a.m.)
Pentagon officials say there is no truth to reports that the U.S. has launched an attack against Assad bases in Syria, Wall Street Journal’s Dion Nissenbaum said in tweet.
Explosions Heard at Syria Airbase, SANA Reports (4:27 a.m.)
Explosions have been heard around the T-4 airbase located in the suburbs of Homs in Syria, state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported, citing an unidentified military source.
Missiles have hit the airbase, the news service reported, adding that the U.S. is likely the source of the attack.