'Mission accomplished!' Trump says US, UK and French air strike in Syria was 'perfectly executed' as he thanks military
US President Donald Trump says the air strikes in Syria overnight alongside British and French allies in response to last week’s alleged chemical poisoning attack was “perfectly executed”.
The three allies joined forces overnight on Friday into Saturday to attack chemical weapons facilities in Syria after a devastating “humanitarian crisis” last Saturday, in which at least 75 people died and 500 were injured.
Taking to Twitter, the US President said: “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!”
He added: “So proud of our great Military which will soon be, after the spending of billions of fully approved dollars, the finest that our Country has ever had.
“There won’t be anything, or anyone, even close!”
When announcing the strikes on Friday, Trump said: “This evil and despicable act left mothers and fathers and children thrashing in pain and gasping for air.
“The combined American, British and French response will integrate all instruments of our national power.
“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.”
The president had sharply critical words for both Russia and Iran, which have backed Assad’s government.
“To Iran and to Russia, I ask, what kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?” Trump said.
Prime Minister Theresa May said there was “no practicable alternative to the use of force” to deter the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime, adding the strikes were not about “regime change”.
Mrs May said the action was “essential”, but opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn slammed the attack as “legally questionable”.
Three waves of overnight strikes destroyed important infrastructure at sites connected with the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons programme.
British Tornado GR4s departed from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus and fired Storm Shadow missiles at a military facility near Homs, where the regime is said to have kept chemical weapon precursors.
Other sites near Damascus were also targeted in the assault, which US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis called a “one-time shot”.
In a speech following he attack, Theresa May said: “While the full assessment is ongoing we are confident of its success.”
She added: “We have no choice but to confirm that diplomatic action on its own will not be any more effective than it has been in the past.
“We agreed that it was right and legal to take military action to prevent further humanitarian crisis.”
Asked if the strikes had also been a warning to Russia, Mrs May said: “The action that took place last night was an action which was focused on degrading and deterring the operational capability and the willingness of the Syrian regime to continue to use chemical weapons.
“But I believe it should also be a message to others that the international community is not going to stand by and allow chemical weapons to be used with impunity.”
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