President Trump ordered the U.S. military to launch “precision strikes” in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Bloomberg reported that this strike is in response to a suspected chemical attack in Douma, Syria, where 21 to 78 civilians were killed. Trump said that the reason for the strike is to “establish a strong deterrent” to the use of chemical weapons. He also called on Russia and Iran to consider their association with Assad’s regime, according to the Washington Post.
Additionally, CNN said that the strikes in Damascus were targeting a research center associated with the chemical attacks. The strike is being conducted with the cooperation of France and Britain. Trump declared his intentions with the strikes.
“We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops the use of prohibited chemical agents.”
David Martin from CBS News said that “precision strikes” can include targeting planes that carry chemical weapons, and targeting the headquarters that orchestrate chemical attacks. Seth Doane from CBS News reported that around the time that Trump announced his order, there were “rumblings” in Damascus that were assumed to be the strikes.
The decision comes after a week of heated debate about whether or not the United States should take military action in Syria. Back in April 2017, there was a chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria. It killed 100 people and the Trump administration responded by launching 60 Tomahawk missiles at one of Assad’s airfields. This time, the government says they have proof that Syria was behind the chemical attack, although the Syrian government and Russian government both deny involvement.
One of the dangers of striking Syria is the possibility of escalating problems with Russia. Russia is a known ally to Syria and has provided military support in the past. Also, there are Russian troops in Syria, and Russian military has said that they would shoot down U.S. missiles.
Trump had already hinted at Syria’s imminent strike on Twitter, saying that the strike “Could be very soon or not at all!” just a day ago, on April 12. People worry that this could trigger World War III. In the meantime, the U.S. military says that they will be monitoring Russia’s actions closely following the Syria strike.