By Tyler Rogoway And Joseph Trevithick | www.thedrive.com |
Nearly a week after a horrific chemical weapons attack in the Syrian city of Douma, President Donald Trump, in cooperation with his French and British counterparts, has approved a set of strikes against targets associated with the regime of Bashar Al Assad. After days of speculation and public threats suggesting the operation could be imminent, the announcement of the strikes finally came in the evening April 14, 2018 with the President addressing the nation directly from the White House.
Trump said in his speech that the strikes were targeting the Syrian government’s chemical weapons capabilities. More importantly, Trump said that the campaign against the Syrian regime of dictator Bashar Al Assad would continue until such time as it was no longer necessary in order to send a strong deterrent message.
“The combined American, British and French response to these atrocities will integrate all instruments of our national power: military, economic and diplomatic,” Trump said in his address. “We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents.”
Trump also made a direct appeal to Russia to join the United States and its allies in pressuring Assad to abandon the use of chemical weapons. He made a less direct statement to Iran, the Syrian government’s other principle benefactor. Both countries have already criticized the United States over its threats to intervene again against Assad’s regime and have threatened to retaliate in kind.
“Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path or if it will join with civilized nations as a force for stability and peace,” he said. “Hopefully someday we’ll get along with Russia and maybe even Iran, but maybe not.”