“My fellow Americans, a short time ago, I ordered the United States Armed Forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now underway. We thank them both”
President Donald Trump on Friday ordered the United States military to launch strikes on Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad on a Damascus suburb last week. T
We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents,” Trump said in remarks from the White House, adding that the U.S. and its allies had “marshaled their righteous power.” France and the UK participated in the strikes also.
“What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men and women and children?”, Trump said referring to Syria’s allies Russia and Iran.
Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that the US-led effort in Syria an “act of aggression” that will exacerbate humanitarian catastrophe.
He reaffirmed Russia’s view that a purported chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma that prompted the strike was a fake. Putin added that Russian military experts who inspected Douma found no trace of the attack.
Russian ambassador Anatoly Antonov said on Twitter: “A pre-designed scenario is being implemented. Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences.
“Insulting the President of Russia is unacceptable and inadmissable. The US – the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons – has no moral right to blame other countries.”, The UK Sun reported.
The Russian military has claimed that the Syrian air defenses, whose most modern weapon is a three-decades-old Russian-supplied anti-aircraft system, shot down 71 of 103 missiles fired by the US and its allies, the UK and France. Media sources have not verified these claims.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has also branded the attacks “crimes” and Britain, the US and France “criminals”.
He told Iranian television: “US allies will not gain any achievements from crimes in Syria.
“Attacking Syria is a crime. US President, UK Prime Minister and the president of France are criminals.”
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said there were no reports of U.S. losses in what he described as a heavy but carefully limited assault. He said the targets selected by U.S., British and French officials were meant to minimize civilian casualties.
Some of the most negative response in the US came from Trump supporters themselves. Many pundits and analysts believe the chemical attack was carried out by rival rebel groups as opposed to Assad. Trump Tweeted the success of the strike and many Trump supporters responded with their displeasure.
More details will continue to emerge in upcoming days.
A perfectly executed strike last night. Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2018