President Trump late Thursday unleashed a barrage of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on Syria to punish its strongman, Bashar Assad, after a chemical attack this week that killed dozens of civilians, including children. The attack — the first known direct American strike on Syrian government assets since the start of the country’s civil war — is the most significant military operation ordered by Trump, a newcomer to governing who had warned, before taking office, against escalating America’s involvement in the Middle East. Trump explained his decision by describing the horrific images from Tuesday’s chemical weapons strike, saying “there can be no dispute” that Assad’s forces were responsible.
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.
Prior to the attack, Trump had huddled with top advisers, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster in Palm Beach, Fla., where he was to hold meetings Friday with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Tillerson told reporters that the president had begun a long, difficult and potentially fruitless effort to push Assad from power, and had tough words for Moscow, Assad’s patron.
It is very important that the Russian government consider carefully their continued support for the Assad regime.
Rex Tillerson, U.S. Secretary of State