Friday morning’s missile strike was the toughest direct US action yet in Syria’s civil war, raising the risk of confrontation with Russia and Iran, the Assad regime’s two main military backers.
Speaking at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, President Donald Trump explained why he ordered the attack, saying that it was in the “vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.
“There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and ignored the urging of the UN Security Council,” he said.
And Trump urged “all civilised nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types.”
This is Trump’s biggest foreign policy crisis since taking office in January.