"We Successfully Hit Every Target": Highlights From Pentagon Press Briefing On Syria Airstrikes

On Saturday morning, Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White and Marine Lt. General Kenneth McKenzie held a press conference updating the public on the key overnight developments in Syria.

Here are the highlights from the presser:

  • White: "This operation does not represent a change in US policy or an attempt to dispose the Syrian regime."
  • White: "We took action and what happens next is the decision of Assad."
  • McKenzie: "We successfully hit every target"
  • McKenzie: "Last night's strikes were precise, overwhelming, and effective. The strikes overwhelemed the Syrian air defense system"
  • McKenzie: "A total of 105 weapons were deployed against three targets. Targets hit were chlorine, sarin gas research facilities"
  • McKenzie:"Three building were destroyed in Damascus"
  • McKenzie: "No coordination, no agreement with the Russians before the strike."
  • McKenzie: "There was no indication Russia air defense systems were deployed"
  • McKenzie: "None of our aircraft or missiles involved in this operation were successfully engaged by Syrian air defenses and we have no indication that Russian air defense systems were deployed ... all our aircraft safely returned to their bases"
  • McKenzie: "Air and naval platforms were used to launch strikes"
  • McKenzie: "We accomplished our military objective without material interference from Syria"
  • McKenzie: "77 missiles destroyed the Barzah Research and Development Center. It does not exist anymore. This will set the Syrian CW program by years."
  • McKenzie: "22 missiles hit the Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons Storage Site. All coalition forces were involved in kinetic strikes"
  • McKenzie: "7 missiles were employed against a third target"
  • McKenzie: "Two USAF B-1 lancer bombers launched 19 missiles."
  • McKenzie: "Syria fired 40 surface to air missiles into the air after strike on ballistic (unguided trajectory) to no effect....after the 105 US and allied missiles had already landed."
  • McKenzie: "We have not seen any military response from actors within Syria since the strikes"
  • McKenzie: "We positioned defensive counter-air assets around Syria and these are still active."
  • McKenzie: "As of now, we are not aware of any civilian casualties following the strikes"

 

Also of note: McKenzie confirms JASSM stealthy cruise missiles used in this morning’s strike in Syria. It’s the first known time they’ve been used in combat.

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