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14 Apr, 2018 01:14

Explosions rock east Damascus after Trump announces Syria strikes

Explosions rock east Damascus after Trump announces Syria strikes

A series of explosions have been seen in Damascus, Reuters reported, citing their own witnesses.

Images have started to emerge on social media, apparently showing Syrian air defense systems responding to incoming strikes.

A district of Damascus, which houses a scientific research facility, was targeted by strikes carried out by the US, France and Britain, with several large blasts and smoke rising from the eastern side of the capital, witnesses say.

According to reports, the US-led attacks hit a research facility located in the capital's Barzeh District. Syrian state media said that the air strikes targeted Damascus and surrounding areas.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford said the US strikes targeted a research facility, as well as a "chemical weapons storage facility" near Homs. He said the naval and air forces were involved in the strikes, but would not elaborate "for reasons of operational security."

The UK defense ministry said that they used Storm Shadow missiles to target a Syrian military facility located approximately 15 miles (24 kilometers) west of Homs, claiming that the site holds chemical weapon "precursors."

The missile attack on Syria lasted for some 50 minutes, Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen TV reported, citing a Syrian military source, who said that Syria’s air defenses managed to shoot down a considerable number of incoming missiles.

Syria's air defenses have shot down 13 missiles in the Kiswah area south of Damascus, SANA state television reported.

The United States is using Tomahawk cruise missiles to attack multiple targets inside Syria, a US official told Reuters on Friday. The official did not disclose whether US warplanes were also involved in the strikes.

Last April, US President Donald Trump fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at Al Shayrat airfield in Syria, in response to an alleged chemical attack in Idlib province.