President Donald Trump receives a briefing on a military strike on Syria from his National Security team, including a video teleconference with Secretary of Defense, Gen. James Mattis, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, on April 6, 2017, in a secured location at Mar-a-Lago in West Palm Beach, Florida.
- White House press secretary Sean Spicer said, “strikes ordered to insist on a mutual level of human decency. Trump’s attitude toward Syria “evolved” over his 70-some days in office, thanks to the clear images that were available and that everybody in the world could see. It was very disturbing and tragic and moving to him. He had a very deliberative process of asking his national security team to develop options. He insisted that the intent of the actions were limited in scope: a message that Bashar al-Assad“should abide by the agreement they made not to use chemical weapons.“If you’ve seen the response from the world community,” Spicer said, they understand that the US acted appropriately and in most cases there is widespread praise from around the globe for the president’s actions.” “There can be a shared commitment to defeat ISIS and also agree that you can’t gas your own people,” Spicer said. “I think this was a clear response on humanitarian purposes that has been widely praised.”
- The air strike with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles blasted off the destroyers USS Ross and USS Porter targeted the Syrian air field of Shayrat, home of the Syrian 5oth Air Brigade.
- The action was welcomed by Britain, Germany, France, Turkey, and the EU.
- Russia’s military in Syria had been informed of the strike by the US in order to avoid casualties that could prompt a broader crisis.
- The US targeted radars, aircraft, and air defence systems and destroyed around 20 Syrian planes, but said the runway is still intact.
- The war in Syria has killed 470,000 people over six years, including 55,000 children.
- The Trump administration still has no long-term plan for Syria. The president prefers to establish “Safe Zones” to protest the civilians.
- In an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council called US UN ambassador Nikki Haley says “US prepared to do more.”
- President Trump was reacting to the attack on Tuesday that killed at least 72 people, including 20 children, with chemical weapons.
- During the Obama administration Syria had promised to give up all chemical weapons, now Assad used some against his own population.
- Damaskus and Moscow claim “a depot with chemical weapons owned by the rebells was hit”.
- Putin is not amused, but cannot act against the US.
This photo made available by Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) shows a battle damage assessment image of Shayrat Airfield.
Here the full statement by president Trump Thursday night:
“My fellow Americans: 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. No child of God should ever suffer such horror.
Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched.
It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.
There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and ignored the urging of the UN Security Council.
Years of previous attempts at changing Assad’s behavior have all failed, and failed very dramatically. As a result, the refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilise, threatening the United States and its allies.
Tonight, I call on all civilized nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria, and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types.
We ask for God’s wisdom as we face the challenge of our very troubled world. We pray for the lives of the wounded and for the souls of those who have passed.
And we hope that as long as America stands for justice, then peace and harmony will, in the end, prevail.
Goodnight. And God bless America and the entire world.”