Syria: Six dead in strike; Israel’s president says US strike ‘appropriate’

FILE - In this Monday, Dec. 15, 2003 file photo, Syrian President Bashar Assad reviews the presidential guard during a welcoming ceremony in Athens. The tide of global rage against the Islamic State group lends greater urgency to ending the jihadis’ ability to operate at will from a base in war-torn Syria. That momentum could also force a reevaluation of what to do about President Bashar Assad’s future and puts a renewed focus on the position of his key patrons, Russia and Iran. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, File)

Beirut (AP) – The Syrian military says the U.S. missile attack on one of its air bases in central Syria has killed six and caused extensive damage, calling it an aggression that undermines Damascus’ counter terrorism operations.

The statement read on TV Friday came hours after the U.S. sent nearly 60 Tomahawk missiles into the Shayrat air base, southeast of Homs, the first American attack against the Syrian army since the war started in 2011.

General Ali Ayyoub , the chief of the General Staff of the Syrian Army, said Washington has used the chemical attack in the northern town of Khan Sheikhoun earlier this week as a “pretext” to carry out the “blatant aggression” , without knowing what really happened. Syria blames the opposition fighters.

Israel’s president says the U.S. strike on Syria was an “appropriate response” to “unthinkable brutality.” The leaders of Germany and France say President Bashar Assad brought American missile strikes upon himself by using chemical weapons. And Turkish officials continue to voice their support.

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen says U.S. President Donald Trump is trying to be the “world’s policeman” with airstrikes on Syria and is suggesting that it could backfire.

Russia says it’s suspending a deal with the U.S. to prevent mid-air collisions over Syria in response to the U.S. strike on a Syrian air base.

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