A San Diego-based destroyer was among the four Navy ships that fired dozens of cruise missiles in an attack on Syria's chemical weapons program early Saturday morning, the Department of Defense said.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins was joined in the attack by USS Monterrey, USS Laboon, and the submarine USS John Warner.
President Donald Trump ordered the attack Friday night after a suspected chemical attack on Douma, Syria by the Syrian government on April 7 that killed at least 45 people and sickening hundreds of others.
Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said the attack on Syrian civilians "demanded an immediate response."
U.S. & World
News from around the country and around the globe
Syrian President Bashar Assad has denied using chemical weapons and the US and its allies have yet to provide hard evidence that chlorine gas was used on civilians in Douma.
The strikes were designed to immediately limit Syria’s "ability to use chemical weapons in the future,” White said.
This was the second attack on Syria in as many years after the Syrian government allegedly used chemical weapon against its people. President Trump ordered an attack last April on a Syrian airbase that allegedly was used to carry out the chemical attack on Syrian civilians.
"Clearly the Assad regime did not get the message last year," Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said Friday night. "This time our allies and we have struck harder."
The Higgins fired 23 tomahawk missiles from the North Arabian Gulf at three targets in Syria that the Pentagon said were fundamental to the regime's chemical warfare infrastructure.
The ship was deployed to Bahrain in the Persian Gulf in November 2017 with the U.S. Seventh and Fifth Fleet.
USS Higgins is a multi-mission warship with a crew of more than 280 sailors.