Syria

Israel's air force commander says recent airstrikes against Iranian targets in Syria were carried out by the F-35 stealth fighter – the first time the newly fielded warplane has been used in an "operational attack."

"The F-35 squadron has become an operational squadron," Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin said Tuesday, according to Haaretz.

Two cylinders that were dropped on the rebel-held Syrian city of Saraqeb in February — sending nearly a dozen people to seek medical help for nausea and other symptoms — had contained chlorine, according to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

After a visit to the site, the OPCW says, its fact-finding mission has confirmed "that chlorine was likely used as a chemical weapon" on Feb. 4 in Saraqeb, a small city that's about 12 miles southeast of Idlib. It also used evidence that was gathered by several nongovernmental organizations.

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The U.S., France and the U.K. targeted chemical weapons sites in Syria early Saturday. Since the launch of more than 100 missiles, a war of words has ensued.

cole.house.gov

Republican Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma talks with Scott Simon about the recent U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria.

The coordinated attack on Syria by U.S. and allied military forces illustrates the conflicting impulses behind President Trump's foreign policy. He remains an "America First" isolationist who disdains a role as global policeman. But Trump is also a determined counter-puncher who can be moved to action by grisly pictures he sees on TV.

Russian officials condemned the U.S.-led airstrikes on three sites in Syria early Saturday, calling the attacks "treacherous and insane" and a "clear and present danger to world peace."

The U.S., U.K. and France carried out the strikes in the early morning hours on targets that U.S. officials said were linked to a Syrian government chemical weapons program. The strikes were a response to an alleged chemical weapons attack carried out by Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime on April 7.

Updated at 2:03 a.m. ET Saturday

The U.S., Britain and France carried out airstrikes early Saturday against three sites in Syria in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack last week by President Bashar Assad's regime.

Updated at 12:27 p.m. ET

A fact-finding team from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is on its way to Syria and will begin working there by Saturday, spokesperson Johan de Wittlaan said Thursday.

As the Trump administration evaluates potential military operations against Syria, the White House has declined to explain why it believes it has the legal authority to conduct them without authorization from Congress.

But the White House does have a secret seven-page memo that may make the case.

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