President Donald Trump has ordered missile strikes on Syria after President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons to attack civilians.
In the swift retaliation move, two United States military warships fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to an airbase controlled by government forces where the chemical weapons were launched from.
The strike took place at 3:40 a.m. (Syrian time) targeting aircrafts, aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers and air defense systems.
Speaking officially about the strike at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, President Trump called on other nations to oppose the embattled Syrian leader.
“On Tuesday, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians. Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women, and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack,” said Trump.
“It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.”
Trump, who had in the past urged President Obama not to attack Syria, said earlier this week in the White House that the images of dead children had changed his opinion on Mr. Assad.
President Obama, do not attack Syria. There is no upside and tremendous downside. Save your "powder" for another (and more important) day!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 7, 2013
The missile strikes on Syria is the first direct military action taken by the US against President Assad in the country’s brutal six-year civil war. It could be interpreted by the Syrian government as an act of war with its major ally Russia condemning the strike, calling it an “an act of aggression against a sovereign state.”
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed that the US military contacted their Russian counterparts about the attack. It was in accordance with the deconfliction policies between the US and Russia over military activities in Syria.
Tillerson, however, blamed Russia for failing to carry out an agreement to secure Syria’s chemical weapons. He said that Moscow was either complicit or incompetent in its ability to uphold the deal.
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