United States’ President, Donald Trump says he has approved military strikes against chemical weapons sites in Syria.
Other allies in the strikes are the UK and France.
The strikes are in response to an alleged chemical attack on the Syrian town of Douma last week.
In a nation-wide address, President Trump said, “A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now underway.”
The strikes were ordered “on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities” of the Syrian government, Trump said.
The US president said the purpose was “to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons”.
Speaking about President Bashar al-Assadof Syria, Mr. Trump said,
“These are not the actions of a man they are the crimes of a monster instead.”
Meanwhile, explosions have been reported near the Syrian capital Damascus, local media say.
Also, Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed UK’s connection, adding that there was “no practicable alternative to the use of force”.
However, May said the strikes were not about “regime change”.
Syria has denied carrying out the attack and its ally, Russia, had warned that Western military strikes would risk starting a war.
A US official told Reuters news agency that Tomahawk cruise missiles were being used against multiple locations in Syria.
The agency also quoted a witness in Damascus as saying, “at least six loud explosions” were heard in the capital.
Syrian state television also confirmed strikes on Damascus. The country’s air defences have also been deployed.
British-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said strikes had hit the Syrian Scientific Research Facility in the capital, along with several military sites.