In a statement on Saturday, he reiterated the Russian view that an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma that killed dozens of civilians was fake: "Russian military experts, having visited the place of the alleged incident, did not find any traces of the use of chlorine or other poisonous substances". Could not have had a better result. Trump described the attack in stark moral terms that were reminiscent of the rhetoric that the George W. Bush administration employed before the 2003 Iraq War to describe Saddam Hussein.
President Trump announced Friday that he ordered the missile strikes, which occurred around 4 a.m. Saturday in Syria.
"The United States and its allies have no proof and, without even waiting for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to take a position, have carried out this military attack. and are responsible for the regional consequences", said foreign ministry spokesperson Bahram Ghasemi.
Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White later told reporters: "We successfully hit every target".
Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said there was some "activity" by Syrian surface-to-air missiles, but there were no reports of US or allied casualties. He said Syria's air defences were ineffective and that numerous more than 40 surface-to-air missiles fired by the Syrians were launched after the allied attack was over. He said the US knew of no civilians killed by allied missiles. As the missiles hit their targets and anti-aircraft guns lit up the sky, hundreds of people took to the streets of Damascus to protest the strike.
British PM says no alternative to use of force in Syria
But they backed action in Iraq the following year, and again in Syria in 2015, strictly limiting strikes to targets of the Islamic State group.
So much for Trump's vow of a "sustained response", said Benham Ben Taleblu, a foreign-policy and security analyst with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington.
A global chemical warfare watchdog group said its fact-finding mission would go as planned in Douma, where the apparent use of poison gas against civilians on April 7 that killed more than 40 people compelled the Western allies to launch their attack. Syria has denied the accusation.
Instead, Taleblu said, the repeated destruction of Assad's chemical weapons is like "continuously slicing up bits of the problem, without dealing with the actual problem itself".
Further military action "is a waste", Arkedis fears, unless Trump can clearly articulate a policy outlining the US future in Syria.
French President Emmanuel Macron said the response was "limited to the Syrian regime's capabilities to produce and use chemical weapons".
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"Based on recent experience, we fully expect a significant disinformation campaign over the coming days by those who have aligned themselves with the Assad regime", said Mattis, adding that White and Lieutenant General Kenneth F. McKenzie would speak "in effort to maintain transparency and accuracy".
Pictures that purportedly show Saturday's air strike in Syria are also being shared.
"The goal of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread, and use of chemical weapons", Trump said.
He added, "But since this was blocked by Russian Federation, there was no other alternative".
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he strongly supported the US, UK and France's airstrikes.
Russian Federation condemns US-led strikes, calls emergency United Nations meeting on Syria
US President Donald Trump announced the joint action against Assad's regime from the White House late Friday. Meanwhile, Syria said the targeted strikes will not stop the country from ridding itself of armed rebels.