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The United States launched some 50 cruise missiles on Syrian military installations, international media reported in the early hours of Friday, April 7. Launched from a naval base in the Mediterranean Sea, according to teleSUR, the missiles struck at multiple sites, including an air base near Homs.

El País, which also reported the news, said the attack was in “retaliation for the chemical attack on Tuesday that killed about 80 people, and which Washington attributes to the regime in Damascus.”

However, other media have stressed that the alleged chemical attack served precisely as an excuse for the United States to carry out the attack, accusing, without any evidence, the Bashar al-Assad government of having used sarin gas in an alleged chemical attack on Idlib, carried out from the air and using Russian aircraft, that not even the UN, through the Office for Disarmament Affairs, could confirm.

This surprise attack is the first direct military action ordered by Donald Trump against another country, and comes just a day after the U.S. President stated that the chemical attack on Idlib had “crossed many lines” and that it required a “serious response.”

“I ordered a targeted military strike on the air base in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched,” Trump told the press following the attack, which he justified according to the “vital national security interest of the United States.”

According to sources, Syrian television called the attack “an act of aggression,” forming part of the plan drawn up by the Pentagon from 2013.