Mattis warns Syria about using WMD and says 20 % of Syrian planes were taken out by US strike

Washington Examiner:
Last week's cruise missile strike took out 20 percent of Syria's operational military aircraft, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in a statement Monday, adding that the "Syrian government would be ill-advised ever again to use chemical weapons."

"The assessment of the Department of Defense 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," Mattis said. "The Syrian government has lost the ability to refuel or rearm aircraft at Shayrat airfield and at this point, use of the runway is of idle military interest."
The losses of the aircraft could be critical since they are the main advantage Syria has over rebel forces.  The Syria army has been depleted and the military is relying on Shia fighters from Hezballah and Iran is providing some Shia fighters from Afghanistan.  Russia has been embarrassed by the failure of its air defense system which also could be a problem for Iran too since it is buying the same failed system.

The BBC has more on the results of the attacks on Syria.


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