The U.S. Department of Defense released video footage of tomahawk missiles being launched from a submarine in the Mediterranean Sea at targets in Syria as part of a “multi-national strike operation against the Syrian government.”
President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter, “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!”
Trump derided sensationalized media reports that likened his quote to one from former President George W. Bush.
He added, “The Syrian raid was so perfectly carried out, with such precision, that the only way the Fake News Media could demean was by my use of the term ‘Mission Accomplished.’”
The Syrian raid was so perfectly carried out, with such precision, that the only way the Fake News Media could demean was by my use of the term “Mission Accomplished.” I knew they would seize on this but felt it is such a great Military term, it should be brought back. Use often!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2018
“I knew they would seize on this but felt it is such a great Military term, it should be brought back. Use often!” Trump tweeted.
Western powers have no plans for further missile strikes on Syria but will assess their options if Damascus uses chemical weapons again, Britain’s foreign minister said on Sunday as debate raged over the legality and effectiveness of the raids, Reuters reported.
Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis told Fox News that they targeted three locations in a heavy but carefully limited assault. Mattis said that no follow-up strikes are planned, adding that the Pentagon was careful to ensure the safety of Russian and Syrian civilians nearby.
“Clearly the Assad regime did not get the message last year,” Mattis noted. “This time our allies and we have struck harder.”
U.S., French and British missile attacks struck at the heart of Syria’s chemical weapons program on Saturday in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack a week ago, and the three countries insisted they were not aimed at toppling President Bashar al-Assad or intervening in a seven-year civil war.
In Damascus, Syria’s deputy foreign minister, Faisal Mekdad, met inspectors from the global chemical weapons watchdog OPCW for about three hours in the presence of Russian officers and a senior Syrian security official.
The inspectors were due to attempt to visit the site of the suspected gas attack. Moscow condemned the Western states for refusing to wait for their findings before attacking.
British Foreign Secretary (Minister) Boris Johnson defended Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to take part in the attack, saying it was to deter further use of chemical weapons.
“This is not about regime change … This is not about trying to turn the tide of the conflict in Syria,” he said, reported Reuters. “There is no proposal on the table at the moment for further attacks because so far thank heavens the Assad regime [has] not been so foolish as to launch another chemical weapons attack.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin described the strikes an “act of aggression” and had the “destructive influence on the entire system of international relations and will exacerbate humanitarian catastrophe in Syria.”
“Russia condemns in the strongest possible terms the attack against Syria, where Russian military personnel are assisting the legitimate government in its counterterrorism efforts,” Putin said in a statement, Fox reported.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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