The strikes significantly crippled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s ability to produce chemical weapons, officials told reporters at a briefing, and the Pentagon was not aware of any civilian casualties resulting from the strikes.
Lieutenant General Kenneth F. McKenzie said the strikes were precise, overwhelming and effective.
Though some of Syria’s chemical weapons infrastructure was still left, “I think we’ve dealt them a severe blow,” McKenzie said, adding it would set the program back for years.
Despite severely damaging the infrastructure with the strikes, McKenzie said the Pentagon would not rule out that the Assad government still had capability to use such weapons again.
“I would say there’s still a residual element of the Syrian program that’s out there,” he said. “I’m not going to say that they’re going to be unable to continue to conduct a chemical attack in the future. I suspect, however, they’ll think long and hard about it.”