President Donald Trump authorized military strikes on Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad’s regime Friday evening in conjunction with the British and French government.
In his announcement, Trump noted that precision strikes were targeting Assad’s chemical weapons facilities in retaliation for a Saturday attack on civilians. The U.S., Britain, and France reiterated in the days before the strike that they had confirmed the use of chemical weapons by Assad.
“These are not actions of a man, these are crimes of a monster,” Trump declared of Assad’s chemical weapons use. “Following the horrors of World War I a century ago, civilized nations joined together to ban chemical warfare. Chemical weapons are uniquely dangerous, not only because they inflict gruesome suffering, but even small amounts can unleash widespread devastation.”
Trump noted that the strikes would continue if Assad used chemical weapons again.
The president previously struck Syria in 2017 for the regime’s use of sarin gas. Trump took the opportunity Friday to criticize Russia and Iran for its continued sponsorship of the Syrian regime.
“Hopefully some day we’ll get along with Russia and maybe even Iran, but maybe not. I will say this. The United States has a lot to offer. With the greatest and most powerful economy in the history of the world,” he noted.
Trump was careful to note that “America does not seek a permanent presence in Syria,” asking regional allies in the middle east to increase foreign assistance to the region.