President Donald Trump responded Sunday to critics opposed to his use of the phrase "mission accomplished" after the strikes on Syria's chemical weapons infrastructure, arguing that "it should be brought back" and "used often". Could not have had a better result, ' Trump wrote.
"None of these military actions are large enough to deter chemical-weapons use when Assad thinks it's strongly in his advantage".
"The strikes may convince (Russian President Vladimir) Putin to stop further use (of chemical weapons) by Assad as it remains clear we are pulling out of Syria".
Russian Federation and Iran called the use of force by the United States and its allies a "military crime" and "act of aggression".
Trump did the same on Friday, with allies France and Britain, in a response meant to deter Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from using chemical weapons again, but which was unlikely to change his grip on power.
While the chemical weapons attack has put Syria fully on Trump's radar, experts say it's unlikely to persuade him to stay the course in Syria beyond defeating Islamic State.
A chorus of voices across the American political spectrum expressed support for Trump's latest strikes, but criticized the lack of a broader U.S. Syria strategy that could end the seven-year war - with or without Assad. The military said there were three targets: the Barzah chemical weapons research and development site in the Damascus area, a chemical weapons storage facility near Homs and a chemical weapons "bunker" a few miles from the second target.
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It was a phrase that haunted George W. Bush for the last six years of his presidency, and became a shorthand for a premature declaration of victory. The NATO alliance gave its full backing; NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in Brussels that the attack was about ensuring that chemical weapons can not be used with impunity. In fact, he said, "Our mission continues".
However, it reminded people of Bush's statement aboard a naval ship in 2003, when he claimed: 'In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed'.
Several U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was not a priority for the administration to push out Assad, who has survived with massive aid from Iran and Russian Federation.
When pressed, he acknowledged that some unspecified portion of Assad's chemical arms infrastructure was not targeted.
A former officer in Syria's chemical program, Adulsalam Abdulrazek, said Saturday the joint U.S., British, and French strikes hit "parts of but not the heart" of the program. "The strikes don't alter that reality", Ross said.
Disputing the Russian military's contention that Syrian air defence units downed 71 allied missiles, McKenzie said no US or allies missiles were stopped. "There will be more of these", Biddle said. He said the USA knew of no civilians killed by allied missiles. The World Health Organization said 70 were killed in the attack, with 43 dying from chemical exposure. "Use often!" United States military officials said the air strikes took out "the heart" of Syria's chemical weapons facilities, but it remained to be seen how Syria would respond.
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