WASHINGTON (AP) — Allied missiles struck at the heart of Syrian chemical weapons arsenal in a show of force and resolve aimed at punishing the Assad government for a suspected poison gas attack against civilians and deterring the possible future use of such banned weapons.
“A perfectly executed strike,” President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday in the aftermath of his second decision in two years to fire missiles against Syria. “Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!”
His choice of words recalled a similar claim associated with President George W. Bush following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Bush addressed sailors aboard a ship in May 2003 alongside a “Mission Accomplished” banner, just weeks before it became apparent that Iraqis had organized an insurgency that tied down U.S. forces for years.
Syria’s chief allies, Russia and Iran, called the use of force by the United States, Britain and France a “military crime” and “act of aggression” with the potential to worsen a humanitarian crisis after years of civil war. The U.N. Security Council planned to meet later Saturday at Moscow’s request.
President Donald Trump on Friday ordered the United States military — in conjunction with France and the United Kingdom — 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.
The president said the U.S. would aim to hit sites “associated with the chemical weapons capabilities” of Assad’s regime.
“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.”