Trump: US, Allies Striking Syria Over Chemical Weapons

President says US prepared to 'sustain' pressure
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 13, 2018 9:16 PM CDT
Trump: US, Allies Striking Syria Over Chemical Weapons
President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House on Friday, April 13, 2018, in Washington, about the United States' military response to Syria's chemical weapon attack on April 7.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The US, France, and Britain together launched military strikes in Syria to punish President Bashar Assad for a suspected chemical attack against civilians and to deter him from doing it again, President Trump announced Friday. The AP reports that explosions lit up the skies over Damascus, the Syrian capital, as Trump announced the airstrikes from the White House. Syrian television reported that Syrian air defenses have responded to the attack. Trump says the US is prepared to "sustain" pressure on Assad until he ends what the president calls a criminal pattern of killing his own people with internationally banned chemical weapons. It was not immediately clear whether Trump meant the allied military operation would extend beyond an initial nighttime round of missile strikes.

Trump did not provide details on the joint US-British-French attack, but it was expected to include barrages of cruise missiles launched from outside Syrian airspace. He described the main aim as establishing "a strong deterrent" against chemical weapons use. The Syrian government has repeatedly denied any use of banned weapons. French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed the attack, saying it was launched against a "clandestine chemical arsenal" run by Syria's government, the AP reports. Macron says France's "red line has been crossed" after a suspected chemical attack last week in the Syrian town of Douma. The US decision to strike 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.

(More Syria stories.)

Get breaking news in your inbox.
What you need to know, as soon as we know it.
Sign up
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.