Trump launches military strike against Syria

The United States launched a military strike Thursday on a Syrian government target in retaliation for their chemical weapons attack on civilians earlier in the week.

On President Donald Trump’s orders, US warships launched between 50-60 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian government airbase where the warplanes that carried out the chemical attacks were based, US officials said.

“Assad choked out the helpless,” the President said.

“There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons … and ignored the urging of the UN Security Council,” he said during short remarks to reporters at Mar-a-Lago. “The refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilize.”

A US defense official said the strike was targeted on runway, aircraft and fuel points. The missiles were launched from warships in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Strikes are over “until another decision is made,” the official said.
The strikes are the first direct military action the US has taken against the leadership of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country’s six-year civil war and represent a substantial escalation of the US’ military campaign in the region, which could be interpreted by the Syrian government as an act of war.
Trump was very affected by the images of dead children among the civilian casualties in the Syrian chemical weapons attack and felt compelled to act, a senior administration official said.
The US began launching airstrikes in Syria in September 2014 under President Barack Obama as part of its coalition campaign against ISIS, but has only targeted the terrorist group and not Syrian government forces.
Trump met with his national security team before his dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Mar-a-Lago Thursday, where he made the decision to pull the trigger on the biggest military action of his presidency, an administration official says.
He sat through dinner with the President Xi as action was under way.
Defense Secretary James Mattis has been updating Trump about the missile strikes in Syria following his dinner with Xi, according to a US official.
Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Trump’s national security adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster were with Trump at Mar-a-Lago at the time. Vice President Mike Pence remained in Washington, where he returned to the White House after dinner.
Trump’s order to strike the Syrian government targets came a day after he said the chemical attacks — whose grisly effects were broadcast worldwide where videos captured in the immediate aftermath — “crossed a lot of lines for me” and said he felt a “responsibility” to respond.
cropped-6a352eff1e199dabd25b497b748c039cxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.jpg
Advertisements
Advertisements