President Trump ordered the military to airstrike Syria on Thursday, April 6, after the chemical attack earlier this week that took the life of dozens of people including more than 20 children and babies.
The attack is the most significant military operation ordered by the new president since taking office.
“Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched,” Trump said in Palm Beach, Florida. “It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.”
The operation took place at 8:40 p.m. Eastern time and is the first know direct strike on Syrian government assets by the US army. The target was the alleged place of origin of the deadly gas released on Tuesday. Navy ships in the Mediterranean directed at least 50 cruise missiles to the Syrian territory.
The decision sent a message about Trump’s willingness to use military force in Syria, unlike his predecessor Barack Obama who restrained from imposing the “red line”.
The airstrikes are expected to raise the tension between the USA and Russia, which is Syria’s patron and denies the participation of the Syrian government in the gas attack.
In the USA the early responses are mixed, showing both support and concerns about the future. Some Congress representatives expressed concerns on how the decision to airstrike Syria was taken. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, said Trump should have sought authorization from Congress for a military operation that was not in response to a direct attack on the U.S.