WASHINGTON:US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has said a quick series of US, French and British air strikes in Syria were designed to send a "clear message" to President Bashar Al-Assad and stop his chemical weapons program.
The pentagon chief stressed the strikes are carefully calibrated to provide a strong response to a suspected chemical attack, but avoid pulling the west into Syria's civil war.
He said the targets are specifically designed to degrade the Syrian war machine's ability to create chemical weapons and to set that back.
Mattis said this time, the allies struck harder. We sent a clear message to Assad.
Mattis said no additional attacks were planned, though trump earlier suggested the strikes could last longer.
General Joe Dunford, who is chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said the US chose targets to avoid hitting Russian forces.
Dunford said the precision strikes hit three targets, a scientific research center near Damascus, a storage facility and command post also near the capital and a chemical weapons storage facility near Homs.