UPDATED: (Washington, D.C.) — President Trump on Thursday night ordered U.S. military forces to launch strikes against Syrian targets after the Assad regime again used chemical weapons to slaughter Syrians, including scores of children.
The President should be commended for moving fast and hitting hard.
Now the big question: What will the President do next? Is this a one-off attack, or will the President order a series of attacks? What are the President’s goals in Syria? He should destroy Syria’s airfields and air force. He should create safe zones where Syrians can be protected from chemical weapons attacks and other attacks. And he must prove that he will hit Assad with tremendous force so no leader or terrorist believes they can use weapons of mass destruction with impunity.
It’s not just about Syria — the President sent a powerful message tonight to Putin, the ayatollahs in Iran, the North Koreans, and other American enemies and opponents. But there must be follow up and a clear, coherent and focused strategy.
More key questions:
- What did Putin know, and when did he know it? Did Putin know Assad was ordering chemical weapons attacks against children? Did Putin support the move? Putin led the deal in 2013 to remove “all” chemical weapons from Syria. That’s why President Obama said he didn’t need to strike after Assad crossed the “red line” using WMD the first time. Clearly, not all the chemical weapons were removed. So what are the consequences of Putin’s lies to the U.S. and the world?
- When will Assad be handed over to stand trial for war crimes? He has used chemical weapons repeatedly. He’s responsible for a civil war that has killed some 500,000 people. He’s created a humanitarian crisis where more than five million Syrians have fled the country for their very lives.
- Where Russian advisors on the Syrian air base that was hit? Were any killed? What will Putin do next?
Expect the Israeli military to be on high alert for possible reprisal attacks.
I expect our key Sunni Arab allies — notably Egypt, Jordan, the Saudis and most of the Gulf states — to fully and publicly support President Trump’s actions.
Let’s be praying for the President and his national security advisors, for U.S. military forces around the world and particularly in the Middle East, and for the suffering people of Syria.
Here’s the latest on the strikes — please follow me on Twitter for the continuing updates.
“The United States launched nearly five dozen cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield early Friday in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of civilians, the first direct assault on the Damascus government since the beginning of that country’s bloody civil war in 2011,” Fox News is reporting.
“It is in the vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons,” President Donald Trump said in a statement. “Tonight I call on all civilized 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.”
“Fifty-nine Tomahawk missiles targeted an airbase at Shayrat, located outside Homs,” Fox noted. “The missiles targeted the base’s airstrips, hangars, control tower and ammunition areas, officials said.
Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said initial indications were that the strike “had “severely damaged or destroyed Syrian aircraft and support infrastructure and equipment … reducing the Syrian Government’s ability to deliver chemical weapons.”
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