Syria cruise missile strike: Trump says it's revenge for child victims


"Today I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched".

"While I'm encouraged that the Trump administration has felt compelled to act forcefully in Syria against the Assad regime, I'm gravely concerned that the United States is engaging further militarily in Syria without a well-thought-out, comprehensive plan".

"There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violating its own obligations under the chemical weapons convention and ignoring the urging of the United Nations security council".

Trump, himself, said in a brief news conference earlier this week that the attack had caused him to change his views about Assad. In 2013, an agreement was reached that called for Assad to get rid of all his chemical weapons or face a military attack. Meanwhile, the Syrian National Coalition opposition group welcomed the strikes and said it hoped they continue to stop Syrian government air strikes and "use of internationally banned weapons", an SNC media official said on Friday. The U.S. missiles hit at 3:45 a.m. (0045 GMT) Friday morning and targeted the base's airstrips, hangars, control tower and ammunition areas, U.S. officials said.

Initial indications are that this strike has severely damaged or destroyed Syrian aircraft and support infrastructure and equipment at Shayrat Airfield, reducing the Syrian Government's ability to deliver chemical weapons.

"US took great pains to avoid Russian casualties in Syria but anytime in a military operation, there are no guarantees", McMaster said after the missile attack. It was the first direct American assault on the Syrian government and Trump's most dramatic military order since becoming president just over two months ago.

Christopher Swift, professor of national security studies at Georgetown University, said the most important question was whether the Trump administration's vision in launching the strikes was "an impulsive one or a strategic one".

Reuters reports Syrian state TV has labelled the missile launches "American aggression", which "targets Syrian military targets with a number of missiles".

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Tillerson said the United States has a "very high level of confidence" that the Syrian regime carried out at least three attacks in recent weeks - including on Tuesday - using Sarin and nerve gas.

However, a media official for the Syrian National Coalition has expressed hope the U.S. strikes will continue in order to stop Syrian government air strikes and the "use of internationally banned weapons".

Russia's intervention in Syria since September 2015 has turned the balance of power in Assad's favor, and Moscow has used its veto power at the Security Council on several occasions to prevent sanctions against Damascus.

A pair of defense hawks - Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham - who have frequently been critical of Trump, roundly praised his decision Thursday night.

Growing disagreements about Syria are just the latest obstacle to any plans Trump had to closer align the USA and Russian Federation in the world stage.

However, Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, as well as a Democrat counterpart, were among those stating that Trump was acting contrary to the constitution by not seeking congressional approval.

Dick Durbin of IL said that he believed it to be a "measured response to the Syria nerve gas atrocity", but that a consensus would have to be built down the road depending on the intervention. "God bless Trump, but the story does not end here", said Bayan Al Qalamumni, a former civil servant from the Damascus suburbs now living as a refugee in southern Turkey.

He sat through dinner with Xi as the action was under way.

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Trump said earlier on Thursday that "something should happen" with Assad but did not specifically call for his ouster.

President Donald Trump speaks following the ceremonial swearing-in of James Mattis as secretary of defense at the Pentagon in Washington, on January 27, 2017.

"My preliminary briefing by the White House indicated that this was a measured response to the Syrian nerve gas atrocity".

"That crosses many, many lines", Trump said Wednesday. I think what happened in Syria is one of the truly egregious crimes. "Beyond a red line, many, many lines", Trump said.

Trump said: "My fellow Americans, on Tuesday Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a disgusting chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians".

Syria's military, meanwhile issued a statement confirming that six were killed in the USA "aggression", which had undermined the government's counter terrorism efforts.

In 2013, when President Obama was considering airstrikes in the country under similar circumstances, Trump wrote that America should "stay out of Syria and other countries that hate us".

"President Obama, do not attack Syria", Trump wrote in a tweet that same year.

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