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James Mattis: US Missile Strike on Syria’s Airfield a ‘Measured Response’ to Chemical Weapons Attack

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James Mattis

Defense Secretary James Mattis has said that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government is responsible for the April 4 chemical weapons attack on its citizens and called the U.S.-led missile strike on April 6 against the Middle Eastern country’s Shayrat air base a “measured military response,” DoD News reported Tuesday.

Terri Moon Cronk and Lisa Ferdinando write Mattis said Tuesday during a joint press conference at the Pentagon with Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of the U.S. Central Command, that the regime’s attack is a violation of the international law.

“In response to the attack, our government began a deliberate process, led by the National Security Council, to recommend diplomatic and military options to the president,” Mattis told reporters.

Mattis said in a statement released Monday that the measured response seeks to deter Assad’s regime from using chemical weapons in future attacks.

He added that the missile strike at Shayrat airfield led to the destruction of 20 percent of Syria’s aircraft, air defense systems as well as ammunition and fuel sites.

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