Syrian media claims four children killed in United States strikes

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Shayrat Airfield in Homs, Syria is seen in this DigitalGlobe satellite image on February 18, 2017 and released by the U.S. Defense Department on April 6, 2017 after announcing U.S. forces conducted a cruise missile strike against the Syrian Air Force airfield.

American forces fired a barrage of 59 cruise missiles at Shayrat airbase in central Syria overnight - the first time the United States has carried out direct military action against President Bashar al-Assad's troops.

U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to launch missiles at the airbase, from which he said a deadly chemical weapons attack had been launched, marked a dramatic departure from the more cautious approach of his predecessor Barack Obama. George Sabra, a prominent opposition politician, told al-Hadath TV: "The truth is that militarily, if it is limited to this strike, then it has no meaning".

In reprisal for the Bashar al-Assad regime's alleged use of chemical weapons earlier this week, the USA launched 59 long-range Tomahawk missiles on the airbase from which it believes the Syrian warplanes launched the chemical attack.

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the chairman of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told ICANA on Friday the allegation that the Syrian government was behind the Idlib attacks was baseless, as the Syrian Army needed no chemical attack on an area located far from battlefields.

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Nasr al-Hariri, chief negotiator of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), said on Twitter that the strikes "should they continue, would kick off a correct start in combating terrorism".

U.S. officials said Russia's military in Syria had been informed of the strike beforehand in order to avoid casualties that could prompt a broader crisis.

Talal Barazi, the governor of the province of Homs where the base is based, says the Friday dawn attack has also wounded nine.

Pro-regime media have reported that 15 regime fighter planes were destroyed, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Sukhoi-22s, Sukhoi-24s and MiG-23s were based there. The U.S. attack "sends a clear message to the regime and its backers" that they can no longer avoid repercussions, Ramadan said.