Washington, Apr 14: US President Donald Trump on Saturday announced airstrikes on Syria over Syrian President Bashar al-Assad‘s use of chemical weapons which had left more than 40 people dead in Damascus. Reports of several casualties have been reported as loud explosions are heard in Syria. Confirming the airstrikes on Syria, Trump said the attacks are a “direct result” of Russia’s failure to keep Syria’s Assad from using chemical weapons, news agency ANI reported.

“A short time ago, I ordered the United States Armed Forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster instead,” Trump said, Zee News reported.

He added that the airstrikes, which are now underway, have been launched in concert with British, French allies.

“A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now under way. We thank them both. This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very terrible regime,” the US President was quoted as saying.

Trump said the strikes would aim to deter chemical weapons use by the Syrian government, a week after a suspected chemical attack outside Damascus left more than 40 people dead.

Earlier State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert had said that the United States has proof that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s regime had launched a chemical weapons strike on the then rebel-held suburb of Douma.

“I’m not going to say which day we absolutely knew that there was proof. The attack took place on Saturday, we know for a fact that it was a chemical weapon. We know that there are only certain countries like Syria that have delivery mechanisms and have those types of weapons,’ she told reporters.

Meanwhile, Syrian presidency tweeted “Good souls will not be humiliated” after airstrikes were launched by US, UK, France, reported Associated Press.