Trump Declares 'Mission Accomplished' in Syria Strike

ALTERNATIVE CROP OF 104

Trump didn't seem to care, or know that the phrase was a political minefield, when he deployed it on Saturday.

President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his use of the phrase "Mission Accomplished" to describe a USA -led missile attack on Syria's chemical weapons program, even as his aides stressed continuing US troop involvement and plans for new economic sanctions against Russian Federation for enabling the government of Bashar Assad.

A former officer in Syria's chemical program, Adulsalam Abdulrazek, mentioned Saturday the joint U.S., British, and French strikes hit "components of however not the center" of this system. A senior official in a regional alliance that backs Damascus told Reuters the sites that were targeted had been evacuated days ago after a warning from Russian Federation. The decision to strike, after days of deliberations, marked Trump's second order to attack Syria.
He authorized a barrage of Tomahawk cruise missiles to hit a single Syrian airfield in April 2017 in retaliation for Assad's use of sarin gas against civilians.

Syria's President Bashar Assad welcomed a group of Russian politicians to Damascus on Sunday, following airstrikes carried out by the US, Britain and France the previous day.

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Though officers mentioned the singular goal was Assad's chemical weapons functionality, his air drive, together with helicopters he allegedly has used to drop chemical weapons on civilians, had been spared. The Syrian air defenses missed the incoming missiles and kept firing even after the last US, British and French strikes were complete. In a USA army motion a 12 months in the past in response to a sarin gasoline assault, the Pentagon mentioned missiles took out practically 20 p.c of the Syrian air drive.

The then-president stood before a massive banner that read "Mission Accomplished", though USA troops had actually been deployed in the area just a month before.

The U.S. -led operation won broad Western support. "I would say there's still a residual element of the Syrian programme that's out there", he said. The NATO alliance gave its full backing; NATO Secretary-Normal Jens Stoltenberg mentioned in Brussels that the assault was about guaranteeing that chemical weapons can't be used with impunity. That did not mean military strikes would continue.

Vice-President Mike Pence, in Peru for a meeting of regional leaders, said "there will be a price to pay" involving military force if Syrian chemical weapons are used again.

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Trump's U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, told the session that the president has made it clear that if Assad uses poison gas again, "the United States is locked and loaded". In fact, Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said no additional attacks were planned.

Although the operation was secretly unfolding for hours before the first impact, the strike by 105 precision-guided missile on three Syrian chemical weapons targets lasted only minutes, officials said.

Several U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was not a priority for the administration to push out Assad, who has survived with massive aid from Iran and Russian Federation.

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