President Trump on Saturday congratulated U.S. military personnel who executed his ordered missile strike on the Syrian air base connected to a deadly chemical attack on civilians earlier in the week.
“Congratulations to our great military men and women for representing the United States, and the world, so well in the Syria attack,” Trump tweeted.
The airstrike was launched overnight Thursday from U.S. Navy ships in the Mediterranean Sea.
The 59 tomahawk cruise missiles targeted the Shayrat air base, near the central Syrian town of Homs, reportedly killing nine people.
The base is the purported takeoff spot for the chemical attack Tuesday in the northern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, a stronghold for forces trying to overthrow the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad in a 6-year-long civil war.
Assad purportedly ordered the attack, which killed a reported 87 people, including children.
The commander of one of the two Navy destroyers that launched the cruise missiles — the USS Porter — is a female Naval Academy graduate, according to The Capital Gazette newspaper.
The other vessel was the USS Ross.
Cmdr. Andria Slough graduated from the service academy with a bachelor of science degree in ocean engineering. She has previously served as an officer on the USS O’Brien and was a deputy director for the Joint Maritime Ballistic Missile Defense Operations and Training program.
On Saturday, a fatal airstrike occurred in Khan Sheikhoun, according to two international monitoring groups.
Syria’s government has denied responsibility for any chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun.
And Russia’s Defense Ministry, which has condemned the U.S. response, said the toxic chemical were released when a Syrian airstrike hit a rebel chemical weapons arsenal and munitions factory on the town’s eastern outskirts.