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Strikes Hit Syrian Town Targeted In Alleged Gas Attack

| by Jordan Smith

Air strikes were reportedly launched by Syria and Russia on a town in Idlib Province where an alleged poison gas attack took place April 4.

Rockets were dropped on Khan Sheikhoun hours after U.S. President Donald Trump ordered a cruise missile strike on a Syrian air base, The Daily Beast reported.

There was no indication of any casualties in the air strikes on Khan Sheikhoun. However, deaths were reported as a result of air strikes by Syrian government forces in other parts of the country.

Local volunteers in Khan Sheikhoun stated that they saw a Russian aircraft which had taken off from an airfield on the Mediterranean coast.

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The Beast spoke to a representative from an unidentified media office in the city, who expressed his support for Trump's missile strike.

"We thought that we are forgotten by the entire world, but it seems the chemical weapons attack awakened the human spirit amid people in the West," Othman al Khani told The Beast.

Trump argued that the air base targeted by U.S. missiles was the location from which a chemical weapons attack was launched April 4 on Khan Sheikhoun.

"Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack," Trump added, according to The Telegraph. "No child of God should ever suffer such horror."

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Reuters reported that Syrian jets managed to take off from the bombed airfield April 7.

"The United States took a very measured step last night," said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. "We are prepared to do more, but we hope it will not be necessary."

Syrian officials said six soldiers and nine civilians, including four children, were killed in the missile attack.

The Syrian government described the strike as an act of "blatant aggression" and alleged it made the United States "a partner" of Islamic State because Syrian planes used the airfield to target ISIS positions.

Talal Barazi, the governor of Homs, the province where the air base struck by the U.S. is located, alleged that the cruise missile attack "targeted military positions in Syria and in Homs specifically" so as to "serve the goals of terrorism in Syria and the goals of Israel in the long run," the Daily Express reported.

Russia responded angrily, sending a warship to Syria's Mediterranean coast and suspending an air safety agreement with the United States over Syria.

"To protect key Syrian infrastructure a range of measures will be taken reinforce and improve the effectiveness of the Syrian armed forces air [defense]," a statement from the Russian Ministry of Defense read, The Telegraph reported.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev said the missile strike had brought Washington and Moscow to "the verge of a military clash."

Sources: The Daily Beast, The Telegraph, Daily Express / Photo credit: Kremlin.ru/Wikimedia Commons

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