On Saturday, President Donald Trump praised the U.K. and France for their help in carrying out the precision strikes against Syria.
Trump hailed the mission, which launched more than 100 missiles Friday night, a success and thanked the two countries for their “wisdom and the power of their fine Military.”
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
The decision to coordinate airstrikes against the Syrian regime came roughly a week after chemical weapons were used on the citizens of Douma, just outside Damascus.
The attack, allegedly given the green-light by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with backing from both Russia and Iran, left numerous dead and others injured as many were seen receiving immediate medical attention.
According to The Guardian, though the airstrikes have reduced Syria’s chemical weapons capability significantly, some infrastructure remains.
In an address to the nation late Friday night, Trump called the actions against innocent Syrians “evil and despicable” and explained why the airstrikes were so important.
“The purpose of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons,” Trump said. “Establishing this deterrent is a vital national security interest of the United States.”
“To Iran and to Russia I ask — what kind of regime wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?” he added.
Although three key legal considerations had been met — convincing evidence, agreement by the international community and extreme humanitarian distress requiring immediate relief — opposers to the airstrikes, such as Russia, have claimed a retaliation is in order.
Calling for an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting, Russian president Vladimir Putin stated that the strikes had a “destructive influence” on the system which upheld international relations.
Russia has been a long-time ally to Syria along with Iran and select “rebel” groups throughout the Middle East, and disputes the “evidence” found that an attack was handed out, arguing that the incident against Syrian citizens was “staged.”
Critics have also pointed to the fact that the airstrikes took place before chemical weapons inspectors could visit the site of Douma with their teams and then present their work in order to issue “practicable alternative(s) to the use of force.”
However, when asked if a retaliation can be expected, Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie stated that “we’re ready for it. We’re on the balls of our feet and ready for anything.”
White House Spokesperson Dana White echoed McKenzie’s sentiments, adding that whatever has to happen next is in the hands of Assad and his regime.
“It was a successful mission,” White said. “What happened next depends on what the Assad regime decides to do.”
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