The Latest: Israel says Syria brought airstrikes on itself

Jim Mattis, Joseph Dunford
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on U.S.-led missile strikes on Syria (all times local):

3:20 a.m.

Israel says in response to the American-led strike in Syria that the Middle Eastern country’s “murderous actions” put itself in danger.

An official says in a statement Saturday that President Donald Trump made clear last year that the use of chemical weapons was a red line not to be crossed.

He says the overnight operation carried out by the United States, France and Britain followed that example. The official says that “Syria continues to carry out murderous actions and be a base for these actions and others, including Iran’s, that put its territory, forces and leadership in peril.”

The official spoke anonymously according to protocol. There has been no other official Israeli response yet.

Israel has issued several stern warnings of late about Iran’s increased involvement along its border in Syria in Lebanon.

— Aron Heller in Jerusalem

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British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has expressed his support for the airstrikes on Syria authorized by Prime Minister Theresa May.

Johnson tweeted Saturday that he welcomed the news of the military strike against major chemical weapons facilities in Syria in concert with “our U.S. and French allies.”

Johnson said: “The world is united in its disgust for any use of chemical weapons, but especially against civilians.”

May authorized the strikes without a vote from Parliament, which has been in recess. She had received support from her Cabinet in a crisis session.

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3:15 a.m.

The United States, France and Britain launched military strikes in Syria to punish President Bashar Assad for an apparent chemical attack against civilians and to deter him from doing it again, President Donald Trump said. Syrians crowded onto the streets in noisy demonstrations of defiance afterward and their ally Russia denounced the attack.

Pentagon officials said the attacks targeted the heart of Assad’s programs to develop and produce chemical weapons.

Syrian television reported that Syria’s air defenses, which are substantial, responded to the attack. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said there were no reports of U.S. losses in what he described as a heavy but carefully limited assault.

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