Defense Secretary James Mattis said on Monday the US airstrike on Syria’s Shayrat airbase destroyed 20% of the nation’s operational aircraft.
“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 in a statement.
“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,” Mattis added, calling the strikes a “measured response.”
“The Syrian government would be ill-advised ever again to use chemical weapons,” the Secretary of Defense continued.
The U.S. launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian airbase last week after more than 80 people were killed, including women and children, in a chemical weapons attack in Idlib province.