On Thursday April 6, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. had launched a military strike in Syrian air space in response to the chemical attack which took place in central Syria on Tuesday April 4. The Syrian government had denied responsibility for the attack. The 59 U.S. missiles hit at 8:45 pm Thursday in Washington, 3:45 am Friday morning in Syria. President Trump who announced the military strike from the “Southern White House” Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, said that Syrian President Bashar Assad was clearly responsible for Tuesday’s horrific attack. President Trump was hosting President Xi Jinping of China at the time of the missile launch.
The missiles hit the Shayrat air base in central Syria, the same location as the chemical attack. The strike has reportedly killed nine civilians including four children. Syria and Russia have denounced Trump’s strike. The Kremlin issued a statement describing the missile launch as ” an aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international law. ” Russia’s deputy U.N. envoy, Vladimir Safronkov, told a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Friday. ”We strongly condemn the illegitimate actions by the U.S. The consequences of this for regional and international stability could be extremely serious.” Iran also condemned the strike.
On Friday, The Russian frigate, Admiral Grigorovich RFS-494, entered the eastern Mediterranean near the area where two Navy destroyers had launched the missiles into Syria. According to the Russian news agency TASS, the frigate which was armed with cruise missiles was on a routine trip to a logistics base in Tartus Syria.
President Trump’s opening remarks were emotional and impactful. “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.” The President called out Syria for using ” banned chemical weapons, violating its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and ignored the urging of the U.N. Security Council.” The President also asked other leaders to join him in this fight. “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.”
President Trump’s military strike which is the most significant military action to date of his presidency has largely been well supported by world leaders including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, French President Francois Hollande , Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus among others.
Members of congress who haven’t always been his biggest fans including Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator John McCain and Senator Marco Rubio praised the President for taking a tough stance.
“The United States took a very measured step last night,”U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the U.N. Security Council on Friday. “We are prepared to do more, but we hope that will not be necessary. It is time for all civilized nations to stop the horrors that are taking place in Syria and demand a political solution.” Haley also addressed Russia’s role in Tuesday’s chemical attack.”It could be that Russia is knowingly allowing chemical weapons to remain in Syria. It could be that Russia has been incompetent in its efforts to remove the chemical weapons. Or it could be that the Assad regime is playing the Russians for fools, telling them that there are no chemical weapons, all the while stockpiling them on their bases.”
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin also mentioned that sanctions would be ramped up against Syria. “We will be announcing additional sanctions on Syria as part of our ongoing effort to stop this kind of activity,” Mnuchin told reporters in Florida. “Those will continue to have an important effect in terms of people doing business with them.
Interestingly enough, the President’s act received criticism from some of his most prominent conservative supporters. Nigel Farage, the former UKIP leader commented. “As a firm Trump supporter, I say, yes, the pictures were horrible, but I’m surprised. Whatever Assad’s sins, he is secular.” Conservative writer Ann Coulter who has written and spoken extensively in support of Trump, took to Twitter to express her disapproval. “Trump campaigned on not getting involved in Mideast. Said it always helps our enemies & creates more refugees. Then he saw a picture on TV.”@AnnCoulter
Trump’s military strike accomplished a few things. First, it showed world leaders from Syria, North Korea, Russia, China etc., that he is not afraid to “pull the trigger” on military aggression. Second, it also shifted the narrative away from Russian hacking.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson travels to Moscow next week. President Trump’s military strike will certainly figure prominently in the dialogue.
Leonora Cravotta is the Program & Talent Director for Red State Talk Radio, the Co-Host for the Scott Adams Show, a political radio talk show, and a syndicated writer for conservative publications.