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Satellite images show before and after U.S. strikes on Syrian base

WASHINGTON — New satellite imagery released by ImageSat International shows the damage 59 U.S. Tomahawk missiles inflicted at Syria’s Shayrat airfield.

The United States says Bashar al-Assad forces used the airfield to conduct Tuesday’s chemical weapons attack on rebel-held Khan Sheikhoun, leaving at least 86 townspeople dead.

“Initial indications are that this strike has severely damaged or destroyed Syrian aircraft and support infrastructure and equipment,” said Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis. “[They] targeted aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems and radars.”

Satellite imagery provided by ImageSat International reveals the extent of that damage, in comparison to previous records. It was not clear Friday how soon after the strikes the images were recorded.

Two hardened aircraft bunkers on the airfield’s northeast shows holes in their roofs, with what appears to be charring and debris spraying out of them.

Two apparent impact craters are near one of the bunkers. The third bunker in the group is completely obliterated, as is the building directly next to it.

ImageSat International, a company that operates high-resolution satellites, notes five “workshops” that appear to be hit on the airfield’s western edge, just north of ammunition sites.

A bunker on base is all but wiped out; the buildings appearing to be blown away.

Two U.S. senior military officials said about 20 planes were destroyed in the hail of missiles early Friday.

A U.S. defense official said that 58 of the 59 Tomahawk missiles “severely degraded or destroyed” their intended targets.