The Pentagon said a barrage of more than 40 Syrian surface-to-air missiles had "no material effect" on the allied attack, which McKenzie said struck their targets. Here are a few key distinctions.
Mattis said Friday that the United States had not yet confirmed that the suspected Syrian chemical weapons attack included the use of sarin gas.
The allies successfully hit all three of their targets, the Pentagon said, deploying 105 missiles.
· UK Prime Minister Theresa May described the strikes as "limited and targeted" and said that four fighter jets had fired missiles at the base west of Homs.
The Pentagon also disputed the Russian military's claims that Syrian air defense units had downed 71 out of 103 cruise missiles launched by the U.S. and its allies.
The combined strike is the most significant attack against President Assad's government by Western powers in the seven years of Syria's civil war.
"The most effective way for the Assad government to respond is by targeting USA partner forces, especially the Syrian Democratic Forces", Heras said.
Saturday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that "the time for talk ended last night." at a special meeting of the UN Security Council and that "the United States is locked and loaded", if "the Syrian regime is foolish enough to test our will". "Mission Accomplished!" he declared. "They attacked Syria because we defeated their terrorist agents", said one of the protesters.
Damascus defiant after US-led strikes on Syrian government installations
- Russian President Putin says strike on Syria by United States and its allies will exacerbate humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. Trump said Assad's recent attack was a fallout of Russia's "failure" to keep the promise of eliminating Syria's chemical weapons.
In the wake of Friday's strikes, Congress should engage in a vigorous examination of Trump's overall Syrian policy.
Syria, with allies Russian Federation and Iran, denied the use of chemical weapons and bizarrely the Kremlin even branded the attack as lies, a baffling claim dismissed by Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie.
"Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the constitution", the letter read.
The coordinated strike by the United States, France and the United Kingdom was carried out "to cripple Syria's ability to use chemical weapons in the future", Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said. The attack is believed to have been ordered by the Syrian government.
The UN Security Council is now meeting at Russia's request to discuss air strikes launched by the United States, France and Britain on Syria in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack.
Both the president and his military advisers took pains to say the attack on Assad's chemical weapons facilities was not a prelude to a wider war. "The Russia disinformation campaign has already begun", White said.
"If there were chemical weapons, we would not be able to stand here".
Syrian TV blasted the strikes as a "flagrant violation" of worldwide law. The NATO alliance gave its full backing; NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in Brussels that the attack was about ensuring that chemical weapons can not be used with impunity.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed support for the airstrikes while maintaining that Germany would not become involved in military action.
He said the latest attack was created to destroy the Syrian regime's ability to produce chemical weapons.
· Russian Federation reported that the Syrian air defense systems intercepted around 70 of the missiles that had been fired towards the targets in Syria but the U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford said he was aware of no initial losses.