SYRIA: Syrian state media slammed Western strikes on Saturday as illegal and “doomed to fail,” after the US, France, and Britain launched a joint operation against the Damascus government. “The aggression is a flagrant violation of international law, a breach of the international community’s will, and it is doomed to fail,” said state news agency SANA.
Huge blasts were reported around Damascus early on Saturday, moments after the US, France, and Britain announced they were striking Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities. AFP’s correspondent in Damascus said several consecutive blasts were heard at 4:00 am local time (0100 GMT), followed by the sound of airplanes overhead. Smoke could be seen emerging from the northern and eastern edges of the capital.
State media published images of a cloud of reddish smoke hanging over the capital and said that air defences were activated to block the attack. SANA reported the joint operation hit a research centre northeast of the capital as well as other military installations around Damascus, but said missiles targeting army depots in Homs had been intercepted.
It said skies were clear over Aleppo in the north, Hasakeh in the northeast, and Latakia and Tartus along the western coast, where key Syrian and Russian military installations are located. The joint operation came one week after a suspected chemical attack outside Damascus left more than 40 people dead.