President Trump, who warned against Syrian intervention as a candidate, authorized airstrikes aimed at a Syrian airbase that hit the country at about 3:45 a.m. local time. The Trump administration appeared to be cautious about its approach to the Syrian conflict, but Trump said that seeing images of babies gasping for air after Tuesday’s attack made him change his views on President Bashar al Assad. Shortly after the airstrikes, Trump told reporters that, “No child of God should ever suffer such horror.”
Early reports from Syria indicate that the U.S. airstrike punished the intended target: the airbase at Shayrat. A human rights group in the country said the missile attack damaged over a dozen hangars, a fuel depot and an air defense base. At least seven Syrian soldiers were killed in the airstrike, the group said.
It is believed the Syrian government launched the chemical attack from the runways at Shayrat. Syria has denied involvement.
ROBERT CHARLES, the former assistant secretary of state under President George W. Bush, writes that Trump struck the perfect balance. He made clear his revulsion at Syrian use of sarin. This is not an incidental win, this is critical. Credible deterrence of sarin worldwide depended on as swift, meaningful American response, particularly in view of past disappointments.
WORLD LEADERS REACT
President Trump called on all “civilized nations” to join the U.S. in seeking to end this slaughter and bloodshed in Syria. World leaders reacted:
RUSSIA: Airstrike was an “aggression against a sovereign state” and in violation of international law.