Trump Unleashes Military Strikes: 59 Tomahawk Missiles Hit Syria
As previewed earlier tonight, the United States fired a barrage of cruise missiles into Syria on Friday morning in retaliation for this week's alleged chemical weapons attack against civilians by the Assad regime, U.S. officials said. It was the first direct American assault on the Syrian government and Donald Trump's most dramatic military order since becoming president. According to NBC, only tomahawks missiles fired, no fixed wing aircraft involved, for now.
As AP notes, the surprise strike marked a striking reversal for Trump, who warned as a candidate against the U.S. getting pulled into the Syrian civil war, now in its seventh year. But the president appeared moved by the photos of children killed in the chemical attack, calling it a "disgrace to humanity" that crossed "a lot of lines."
The president did not announce the attacks in advance, though he and other national security officials ratcheted up their warnings to the Syrian government throughout the day Thursday. National Security Advisor McMaster, quoted by Reuters, said that Trump was given 3 options for retaliating and told advisors to focus on 2; he added that Trump made the decision on Thursday.