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Trump defends his 'Mission Accomplished' tweet on Syria

16 April 2018, 11:19 | Devin Moran

BLOOMBERG•GETTYSyria news US Congressman claims Trump will compromise to find a solution to the Syrian conflict

BLOOMBERG•GETTYSyria news US Congressman claims Trump will compromise to find a solution to the Syrian conflict

Just over a year ago U.S. President Donald Trump ordered a missile strike against the Syrian government for a chemical weapons attack against its own people.

The phrase is associated with President George W. Bush, who used it in 2003 during the Iraq war but which dogged him for the rest of his presidency. Could not have had a better result.

Trump has made clear he wants to withdraw the roughly 2,000 US troops in Syria involved in the anti-Islamic State campaign, and his administration has suspended support for Syrian rebels, evidence of his desire to disengage from Syria. The words, which likely left many people in the US government, congress, intelligence services and military with their heads in their hands, is ambiguous in every aspect: what was the "mission", and what does it mean for it to be "accomplished"?

Stepping up the pressure on Syria's president, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley indicated the sanctions to be announced Monday would be aimed at sending a message to Russian Federation, which she said has blocked six attempts by the U.N. Security Council to make it easier to investigate the use of chemical weapons.

Trump's tweet Saturday appeared to be referring to the success of the strike, but whether or not the Assad regime will be deterred from using chemical weapons remains to be seen.

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.

Asked about Trump's "Mission Accomplished" assertion, White said it pointed to the successful targeting of the three Syrian chemical weapons sites.




"Everyone is going to feel it at this point", Haley said, warning of consequences for Assad's foreign allies.

When pressed, he acknowledged that some unspecified portion of Assad's chemical arms infrastructure was not targeted. 'It said to some, well, Bush think the war in Iraq is over, when I didn't think that. "I suspect, however they'll think long and hard about it". "It does not exist anymore".

It is apparent that not even USA officials are aware of what the strikes were meant to achieve, and what the US strategy in Syria is. He said the strikes were unlikely to curb the government's ability to produce or launch new attacks.

Vice-President Mike Pence, in Peru for a meeting of regional leaders, said "there will be a price to pay" involving military force if Syrian chemical weapons are used again.

"The Geneva Process hasn't worked and it's time to find something new or change it", said one USA official.

McKenzie said 105 U.S. and allied missiles were fired, of which 66 were Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from aboard three U.S. Navy ships and one Navy submarine.

A global chemical warfare watchdog group, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, said its fact-finding mission would go as planned in Douma. The U.N. Security Council rejected a Russian resolution calling for condemnation of the "aggression" by the three Western allies. He criticized the USA and its allies for launching the strike without waiting for worldwide inspectors to complete their visit to the area. "We know that it is now up to (Syrian President) Bashar al-Assad on whether he is going to use chemical weapons again, and should he use it again, the president has made it very clear that the United States is locked and loaded and ready to go", she said.



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