The United States, Britain and France conducted precision strikes on Syrian targets on Friday night. But is what is most telling is President Donald Trump’s announcement that these strikes would be part of a “sustained response.”
“I ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapon capabilities of Syrian dictator of Bashar al-Assad,” the president said from the White House Diplomatic Room.
The strikes were conducted with the assistance of the United Kingdom and France and used both ships and aircraft, CNN reported.
“The combined American, British and French response to these atrocities will integrate all instruments of our national power: military, economic and diplomatic,” President Trump said.
Reports coming from Syria indicated that Damascus, its capital, is currently being bombarded and there are indications, though unconfirmed, that Iranian or Russian targets have been hit.
"In 2013, Putin and his government promised the world that they would guarantee the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons. Assad's recent attack and today's response are the direct result of Russia's failure to keep that promise." -POTUS #SyriaStrikes pic.twitter.com/A3QTplqIs5
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“We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents,” the president said.
President Trump said that the United States did not seek a long term war in Syria. “As other nations step up their contributions we look forward to the day we can bring our warriors home,” he said.
“We will try to make it better but it is a troubled place,” the president said of the Middle East. “The US will be a partner and a friend. But the fate of the region lies in the hands of its own people.”
President Trump also used the speech to chastise the Russian government for its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who is believed to have attacked his own people with chlorine gas, triggering this response.
“Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path,” the president said.
A senior military official told CNN “this isn’t over,” suggesting that the military response will not be a one off event.
British Prime Minister Theresa May issued a statement concerning the strikes after they had begun.
“This evening I have authorized British armed forces to conduct co-ordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the Syrian Regime’s chemical weapons capability and deter their use. We are acting together with our American and French allies,” she said a statement.
The strikes were chronicled on social media.
— Jimmy Rushmore (@JimmySecUK) April 14, 2018
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— Riam Dalati (@Dalatrm) April 14, 2018