'A perfectly executed strike last night': Delighted Trump tweets his thanks to the 'wisdom and fine military' of France and the UK after airstrikes on Syria, and says allies 'could not have had a better result'
- Trump hailed a 'perfectly executed strike last night' just hours after launching a series of attacks on Syria
- He added that he was proud of 'our great Military' that will be the 'finest the country has ever had'
- It came hours after he announced 'precision strikes' on the Assad regime
- Strikes are in retaliation for a poison gas attack that killed up to 75 people people on April 7
- Trump said combined operation with France and UK will continue until Assad stops using chemical weapons
- Warned Russia and Iran about their association with Assad, saying they'll 'be judged by the friends they keep'
- British Prime Minister Theresa May described the coalition air assault as a 'limited and targeted'
- French President Emmanuel Macron said the 'red line' set by France in May of 2017 'had been crossed'
- Shortly after the attack, the Syrian presidency posted on Twitter: 'Honorable souls cannot be humiliated'
- Syrian state-run TV said three civilians have been wounded on the attack on a military base in Homs
Donald Trump hailed a 'perfectly executed strike' that he said 'could not have had a better result' after authorizing a series of missile attacks against Syrian targets on Friday in response to the Assad regime's latest chemical weapons attack.
The president said Saturday in his first comments since the air raid: 'Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!'
'So proud of our great Military which will soon be, after the spending of billions of fully approved dollars, the finest that our Country has ever had. There won’t be anything, or anyone, even close!' he tweeted.
The Pentagon also said that the strikes 'were very successful' in that the coalition met its objectives.
'We hit the sites,' Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said at a Saturday morning briefing. 'It was mission accomplished,' she said.
Whether the strikes would have the intended effect — keeping Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad from gassing the people of his country again — was not something that the U.S. or its allies could predict.
Donald Trump hailed a 'perfectly executed strike' just hours after launching a series of attacks on Syria. He wrote on Twitter on Saturday morning: 'Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!'
He added: 'So proud of our great Military which will soon be, after the spending of billions of fully approved dollars, the finest that our Country has ever had. There won’t be anything, or anyone, even close!'
The president is pictured addressing the nation on Friday evening from the Diplomatic Room of the White House, announcing retaliatory airstrikes on Syria. He said he ordered the precision strikes in direct retaliation to Bashar al-Assad's 'evil and despicable' poison gas attack on the rebel-held town of Douma
The Damascus sky lights up with missile fire as the US, Britain and France launch an attack on Syria
Damascus skies erupt with anti-aircraft fire after Donald Trump announced the strikes on Syria on Friday night ET
A cruise missile is pictured being launched from a French military vessel in the Mediterranean sea towards targets in Syria
Part of the calculation this week has also been gaming out how Russia will respond either in the region or around the world
Trump pledged Friday in a national address that the U.S. would continue to strike Assad until he forsook his chemical weapons attacks.
French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Saturday morning that 'a lot has been destroyed in last night's strikes' but additional strikes could come if Assad crossed the 'red line' of using chemical weapons again.
President Trump's 'mission accomplished' claim drudged up old memories of another Republican president, George W. Bush, standing under a banner in 2003 and declaring the same thing. Bush's war in Iraq lasted for years, and when the U.S. finally left the power vacuum was filled by ISIS.
France says a 'large part' of the Syria's chemical arsenal was destroyed during coordinated strikes that the U.S. and U.K. joined the country in launching on facilities known to be used in the production of the deadly weapons.
American, British and French forces launched the airstrikes on two chemical weapons facilities and a military command post in Syria early Saturday local time in retaliation for a chlorine gas attack a week ago that left up 75 civilians dead.
He said: 'On the question of chemical weapons, there is a red line that must not be crossed, and if it should be crossed again, there will be another intervention. But I think the lesson has been learned.'
It comes after Trump addressed the U.S. while British Prime Minister Theresa May and President Emmanuel Macron both gave speeches justifying the use of force in response to the 'evil and despicable' poison gas attack.
Trump spoke in a national address at 9pm ET last night as missiles rained down on three sites across Syria. He said he ordered the precision strikes in direct retaliation to Bashar al-Assad's 'evil and despicable' poison gas attack on the rebel-held town of Douma.
Shortly after the attack, the Syrian presidency posted on Twitter: 'Honorable souls cannot be humiliated.'
State TV said the country's air defenses shot down 13 missiles in the Kiswah area south of Damascus and claimed three civilians were wounded in the attack on a military base in Homs.
The assault by the United States consisted of more than 100 missiles, the Pentagon indicated, with Secretary of Defense James Mattis describing the number as 'a little over double the number of weapons' that were used in last year's air assault on Syria.
The April 7, 2017 attack on a Syrian airbase after Assad's last confirmed use of chemical weapons consisted of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles.
Mattis said the latest round of strikes ‘sent a very strong message’ to Assad and his ‘murderous lieutenants' and that ‘right now this is a one-time shot’ driving home a message that conflicted with the president's.
'That will depend on Mr. Assad should he decide to use more chemical weapons in the future,' he said.
In a news conference that followed Trump's remarks, Mattis confirmed that chlorine gas, and possibly sarin, was used to poison Syrians a week ago.
Syria air defenses strike back after air strikes by U.S., British and French forces in Damascus
A fighter jet lands at Akrotiri military British Royal Air Force Base, Cyprus, on Saturday, April 14
A fighter jet prepares to land at RAF Akrotiri, a military base Britain maintains on Cyprus
An RAF Tornado comes into land at RAF Akrotiri after concluding its mission.Four Royal Air Force Tornado's took off to conduct strikes
Smoke rises above Damascus after the air strikes. The US, Britain and France waged up to 120 air strikes
Smoke rises over the capital Damascus after air strikes struck Syria early Saturday, April 14, local time
Trump said the purpose of the U.S.-led strike was to 'establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use' of such chemical weapons. But he said America does not seek 'an indefinite presence' in Syria and looks forward to the day when it can withdraw its troops from Syria.
In a statement, British Prime Minister Theresa May described the coalition air assault as a 'limited and targeted strike that does not further escalate tensions in the region.'
'And while this action is specifically about deterring the Syrian regime, it will also send a clear signal to anyone else who believes they can use chemical weapons with impunity,' she said.
French President Emmanuel Macron said the 'red line' set by France in May of 2017 'had been crossed.'
'We cannot tolerate the trivialization of chemical weapons, which is an immediate danger for the Syrian people and our collective security,' Macron said. 'This is the direction of the diplomatic initiatives put forward by France at the United Nations Security Council.'
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (right) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford (second from right) brief members of the media on Syria at the Pentagon
A photo released on the Twitter page of the Syrian governments central military media shows anti-aircraft fire through a night-vision device on the outskirts of Damascu
Loud explosions rocked Syria's capital and and lit up the sky with heavy smoke. Hours later crowds of Assad supporters gathered in the center of Damascus in a show of defiance.
Hundreds of residents gathered in Omayyad Square, many waving Syrian, Russian and Iranian flags. Some clapped their hands and danced, others drove in convoys, honking their horns.
'We are your men, Bashar,' they shouted.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford said that all three areas the coalition 'struck and destroyed' were specific to the Syrian regime's chemical weapons program.
The scientific research center was used for the development and testing of chemical and biological warfare technology, he said. Another target, a storage facility west of Homs, was a primary location for sarin and precursor production equipment. The third target was a chemical weapons equipment storage facility and an important command force.
General Dunford said U.S., British and French entrenched naval and air forces were involved, but for operational security, he would not be more specific than that.
The U.S. and the U.K. emphasized that steps had been taken to minimize civilian casualties.
French President Emmanuel Macron said the Assad regime 'crossed a red line' with the chemical attack in Douma. He is pictured centre with close advisers
British Prime Minister Theresa May described the coalition air assault as a 'limited and targeted strike that does not further escalate tensions in the region'
'We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents,' Trump in his address said.
He also said in the remarks that lasted a little more than eight minutes that he had a message for 'two governments most responsible for supporting, equipping and financing the criminal Assad regime' -- Iran and Russia.
'In 2013 President Putin and his government promised the world they would guarantee the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons. Assad's recent attack and today's response are the direct result of Russia's failure to keep that promise,' he said. 'Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path or if it will join with civilized nations as a force for stability and peace.'
He added, 'Hopefully someday we'll get along with Russia, and maybe even Iran, but maybe not. I will say this, the United States has a lot to offer with the greatest and most powerful economy in the history of the world.'
Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday strongly condemned the attacks on Syria and said Washington and its allies would bear the responsibility of the raids’ consequences in the region and beyond, Iranian state media reported.
'Undoubtedly, the United States and its allies, which took military action against Syria despite the absence of any proven evidence... will assume the responsibility for the regional and trans-regional consequences of this adventurism,' Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by state media.
Russian lawmaker and the deputy