In that instance, 59 Tomahawk missiles were fired at a Syrian airbase in the western part of the country following a chemical attack blamed on Assad's forces.
"My fellow Americans, a short time ago, I ordered the United States Armed Forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad".
"Last night, operations were very successful", Pentagon spokesperson Dana Whitesaid at a Saturday morning briefing. Both Russia and Syria claimed on Saturday that "a significant number" of the missiles launched at Syria were shot down, although the Pentagon disputes that. It said it was calling an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council.
There are no reported civilian casualties and authorities in Damascus have said the buildings were evacuated before they were hit.
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This was what remained of the scientific research center which was obliterated in the airstrikes.
General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that naval and air forces struck three primary targets, including a chemical weapons research facility outside Damascus and a weapons storage area near Homs.
Looking drawn as she spoke to reporters in Downing Street in a hastily arranged press conference, she said: 'We can not allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised - either within Syria, on the streets of the United Kingdom or elsewhere'.
Russia has also introduced a draft resolution condemning the missile strikes against the Syrian targets and called on the U.S. and its allies to immediately stop the aggression, according to the Russian mission to the UN. "To Iran and to Russian Federation I ask: What kind of nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?" "It is not about regime change".
As of yet, there has been no military response from Syria.
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It was not immediately clear how extensive the strikes were.
The Pentagon says Syria launched 40 surface-to-air missiles in response to the coalition attack. Iran's Supreme Leader called the attack a crime and the country's Revolutionary Guard Corps said it gave "the resistance a more open hand", although it did not threaten to retaliate.
He accused the United States, France and Britain of "demonstrating a blatant disregard for worldwide law".
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