Mattis Describes ‘Measured’ Strike on Airfield

Defense Secretary James Mattis said the attack on Shayrat airfield in Syria was a “measured response” to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons on its citizens on April 4. In the U.S. response, which came two days later, two Navy destroyers launched dozens of Tomahawk cruise missiles at the facility, from which the chemical weapons had been deployed. Contradicting some subsequent news reports, Mattis also said the operation severely hindered Assad’s ability to launch future comparable attacks. “The Defense Department’s assessment is that the strike resulted in the damage or destruction of fuel and ammunition sites, air defense capabilities, and 20 percent of Syria’s operational aircraft,” the Pentagon cited Mattis as saying.