US, British and French forces pounded Syria with air strikes early on Saturday in response to a poison gas attack that killed dozens of people last week. This is the biggest intervention by Western powers against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
US President Donald Trump announced the military action from the White House late on Friday. As he spoke, explosions rocked Damascus. Trump said he was prepared to sustain the response until Assad’s government stopped its use of chemical weapons.
British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron said Britain and France had joined in the attack.
Syria’s seven-year-old civil war has pitted the West against Russia, which itself intervened in the war in 2015 to back Assad.
Syrian state media said the attack would fail and called it a “flagrant violation of international law”. Russia’s ambassador to the United States said Moscow had warned that “such actions will not be left without consequences”.
Syria’s civil war has left more than 350,000 people dead, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Millions more have been displaced and the country lies in ruins.
Here’s a look at key dates in the conflict.