The military action comes less than a week after a suspected chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime.
President Donald Trump made good on his threats to attack Syria Friday night, launching what he called “precision strikes” against three chemical weapons sites in a military action certain to enrage Russia and raise new questions about his Middle East strategy.
Trump announced the strikes in a somber televised address less than a week after what U.S. officials call a poison gas attack on civilians conducted by Syrian leader Bashar Assad’s regime.
“These are not the actions of a man,” Trump said, referring to Assad. “They are crimes of a monster.”
“The purpose of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread, and use of chemical weapons,” Trump said.
Though more substantial than an April 2017 attack Trump ordered on a Syrian airbase—also as punishment for the gassing of civilians—Friday’s action did not open a new phase of American involvement in Syria, where Trump’s larger strategic goals remain unclear.