UPDATE: Syria – Six dead in strike; Israel’s president says US strike `appropriate’

BEIRUT (AP) _ The Syrian military says the U.S. missile attack on one of its air bases in central Syria has killed six and caused extensive damage, calling it an aggression that undermines Damascus’ counter terrorism operations.

The statement read on TV Friday came hours after the U.S. sent nearly 60 Tomahawk missiles into the Shayrat air base, southeast of Homs, the first American attack against the Syrian army since the war started in 2011.

General Ali Ayyoub , the chief of the General Staff of the Syrian Army, said Washington has used the chemical attack in the northern town of Khan Sheikhoun earlier this week as a “pretext” to carry out the “blatant aggression” , without knowing what really happened. Syria blames the opposition fighters.

Israel’s president says the U.S. strike on Syria was an “appropriate response” to “unthinkable brutality.” The leaders of Germany and France say President Bashar Assad brought American missile strikes upon himself by using chemical weapons. And Turkish officials continue to voice their support.

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen says U.S. President Donald Trump is trying to be the “world’s policeman” with airstrikes on Syria and is suggesting that it could backfire.

Russia says it’s suspending a deal with the U.S. to prevent mid-air collisions over Syria in response to the U.S. strike on a Syrian air base.


The Latest: Tillerson says Russia has `failed’ in Syria

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Russia has “failed” in its responsibility to deliver on a 2013 commitment to secure Syria’s chemical weapons.

Tillerson briefed reporters shortly after the U.S. launched cruise missiles against a Syrian air base in retaliation for a gruesome chemical weapons attack. The secretary says Russia has either been complicit or “simply incompetent” in failing to deliver on its end of the agreement.

The agreement was struck after a 2013 chemical weapons attack. President Barack Obama threatened air strikes at the time, but ultimately pulled back on military action.