In a nationally televised address from the White House, Donald Trump announced military strikes on Syrian military assets in reprisal for its recent use of chemical weapons. Trump castigated Bashar al-Assad for his continuing use of chemical weapons, calling him a “monster … not a man.” The strikes will come in coordination with the United Kingdom and France:
He also had tough words for Bashar al-Assad’s allies in Moscow and Tehran, asking, “What kind of nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of men, women, and children?” The kind that gives them access to Mediterranean naval ports, most likely, but the West is making that much more costly than it has been in the past.
The last time Trump ordered reprisal attacks, they mainly focused on the military units that had deployed the chemical weapons. Not this time around:
— Maya Gebeily (@GebeilyM) April 14, 2018
We’ll know more after a Pentagon press briefing at 10 ET. Fox News notes that the Russians threatened to retaliate if the US launched strikes, but it’s hardly in their interest to put themselves in a shooting war with NATO. I’d bet that they’ll sit back at let Assad take his beating unless the strikes start targeting Russian positions.
Update: Theresa May has addressed the British public:
British PM May: “This evening I have authorized British armed forces to conduct coordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the Syrian Regime’s chemical weapons capability and deter their use.” https://t.co/dyJBA5TtY9
— Breaking News (@BreakingNews) April 14, 2018