Military strike in Syria 'perfect'

Donald Trump's 'mission accomplished' tweet sparks social media backlash

The coordinated missile attack by allied forces hit suspected weapons sites in an operation Trump said was meant to deter Assad from using chemical arms in future.

In a statement from the White House, Trump said the three allies had "marshaled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality". In the aftermath, the president tweeted "Mission Accomplished". Standing on the deck of the Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, he proudly announced "major combat operations in Iraq have ended" as a banner that read "Mission Accomplished" hung in the background. Bush addressed sailors aboard a Navy ship in May 2003 alongside a "Mission Accomplished" banner, just weeks before it became apparent that Iraqis had organized an insurgency that tied down USA forces for years.

Dennis Ross, who served as top Middle East adviser to President Barack Obama in his first term, said the missile strikes would have little effect on the overall situation in Syria. The Pentagon said it gave no explicit warning. "I can assure you we took every measure and precaution to strike only what we targeted and -- and we successfully hit every target", White told media.

In his televised address from the White House on Friday, Trump said the US was prepared to keep up the economic, diplomatic and military pressure on Assad until he ends a pattern of killing his own people with internationally banned chemical weapons. The stated objective of America's military presence in Syria remains the defeat of the Islamic State. The U.N. Security Council rejected a Russian resolution calling for condemnation of the "aggression" by the three Western allies.

Assad and Russian Federation deny using chemical weapons. Moscow condemned the Western states for refusing to wait for their findings.

The inspectors were due to attempt to visit the site of the suspected gas attack. That effectively ends all resistance in the suburbs of Damascus known as Eastern Ghouta, marking one of the biggest victories for Assad's government of the entire war. What happens next, she said, is up to Assad and to his Russian and Iranian allies.

American troops are still fighting to stabilize Iraq. But they have refrained from targeting Assad's government, apart from a volley of USA missiles previous year.

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The strike Friday night was in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack by the Syrian regime April 4 against a rebel stronghold outside Damascus in the town of Douma.

"Is there ANYONE in the White House with an understanding of history?" he asked.

"We've attacked the heart of the Syrian chemical weapons program", said Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr.

There was a "perfect sense of execution", said French Defense Minister Florence Parly. The Syrian air defenses missed the incoming missiles and kept firing even after the last US, British and French strikes were complete. He mentioned the USA knew of no civilians killed by allied missiles. "There will be more of these", Biddle said. Barza took the brunt of the attack, with 57 Tomahawk cruise missiles and 19 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff missiles.

Both Russia and Iran condemned the airstrikes, with Russian military officials claiming Saturday that the Syrian military had shot down more than 70 missiles.

Later Sunday, Trump sent a letter to congressional leaders informing them in writing of his decision to order the strike.