WASHINGTON (CBS News) – President Trump Saturday morning called airstrikes in Syria that occurred overnight Friday “perfectly executed,” just hours after he announced the U.S., U.K. and France were launching precision missile strikes in Syria in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria last weekend.
According to BBC News, the three Western nations jointly attacked three Syrian government sites with 100 missiles. The sites are chemical weapons facilities, BBC News reports.
A Syrian soldier takes a picture of the wreckage of a building described as part of the Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC) compound in the Barzeh district, north of Damascus, during a press tour organised by the Syrian information ministry, on April 14, 2018.
“Mission Accomplished!” Mr. Trump declared.
On Friday night, Mr. Trump said the U.S. is “prepared to sustain this response” until Syrian President Bashar Assad halts his believed use of chemical weapons.
CBS News foreign correspondent Seth Doane, the only American network correspondent in Damascus, reported that as President Trump was speaking around 4 a.m. local time Saturday, they could hear “rumblings” that appeared to be the airstrikes.
Doane reported there is a “real sense of defiance” in Syria, even ahead of the airstrikes.
A Syrian soldier sprays water on the wreckage of a building described as part of the Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC) compound in the Barzeh district, north of Damascus, during a press tour organised by the Syrian information ministry, on April 14, 2018.
(LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)
Mr. Trump described a very specific type of target that the U.S. would go after, which are Syria’s chemical weapon capabilities. That could be everything from aircraft that dropped chemical weapons to the headquarters that control the forces that drop the chemical weapons, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford said in a news conference Friday that the three target areas included a scientific research center located in Damascus, a chemical weapons storage facility west of Homs and a nearby storage facility with chemical weapons equipment and an “important” command post.
“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,” the president tweeted Saturday morning. “There won’t be anything, or anyone, even close!”
“A perfectly executed strike last night,” Mr. Trump said. “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!”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2018
“Mission accomplished” is the same phrase former President George W. Bush infamously used in 2003, after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Bush was addressing sailors aboard a ship alongside a “Mission Accomplished” banner. Weeks later, it became apparent that Iraqis had organized an insurgency, and U.S. forces remained in the country for years.
Mr. Trump, who only weeks ago said he wants to pull U.S. troops out of Syria — there are roughly 2,000 there now — said Friday night the strike does not mean the U.S. does not seek an “indefinite” presence in Syria.
“America does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria under no circumstances,” Mr. Trump said Friday night. “As other nations step up their contributions, we look forward to the day when we can bring our warriors home.”
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