US President Donald Trump ordered a massive military strike against Syria Thursday in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack they blame on President Bashar al-Assad.
A US official said 59 precision guided missiles hit Shayrat Airfield in Syria, where Washington believes Tuesday's deadly attack was launched.
Ahead of the strike, President Donald Trump called for “all civilized nations” to work to end the bloodshed in Syria, after launching a massive strike against the regime in retaliation for a chemical attack.
“On Tuesday, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians using a deadly nerve agent,” Trump said in a televised address from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
“Tonight I call on all civilized nations to join us in seeking to end this slaughter and bloodshed in Syria and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types,” he said. “We hope that as long as America stands for justice, then peace and harmony will in the end prevail.”
The US military strike on a Syrian air base caused losses, a Syrian military source told state television Friday without providing further details.
“One of our air bases in the centre of the country was targeted at dawn by a missile fired by the United States, causing loses,” said the source, who had earlier described the strike as an act of “aggression”.
Here is a transcript of US President Donald Trump’s remarks Thursday night after ordering a massive missile strike against a Syrian air base:
“My fellow Americans: On Tuesday, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians.
“Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women, and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror.
“Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. It is in this 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.
“Years of previous attempts at changing Assad’s behavior have all failed, and failed very dramatically. As a result, the refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilize, threatening the United States and its allies.
“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.
“We ask for God’s wisdom as we face the challenge of our very troubled world. We pray for the lives of the wounded and for the souls of those who have passed. And we hope that as long as America stands for justice, then peace and harmony will, in the end, prevail.
“Goodnight. And God bless America and the entire world. Thank you.”
Russia informed of strikes
The United States warned Russia ahead of a massive military strike on a Syrian regime air base, the Pentagon said Thursday.
“Russian forces were notified in advance of the strike using the established deconfliction line,” Navy Captain Jeff Davis said, referring to a special military hotline.
“US military planners took precautions to minimize risk to Russian or Syrian personnel located at the airfield.”