Missiles Rain Down on Syria as Trump Family Dines at Mar-a-Lago, President Faces Russian Backlash
The attack lasted 35 minutes.
Thursday night's missile strike against Syria came as after President Trump and his Chinese counterpart sat down for a formal state dinner at Mar-a-Lago.
The missile launch came as the heads of state dined on pan-seared sole and New York strip steak with members of the Trump family around them, the missile launch came.
A barrage of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles was launched from the Navy destroyers USS Ross and USS Porter, 150 miles off the Syrian coast.
The missiles hit the Syrian airfield in the Idlib province town of Khan Sheikhoun, where chemical attacks two days prior killed more than 80 civilians, including many children.
Thursday night's attack lasted 35 minutes.
"Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children," Trump said while addressing the nation from the tea room at his Florida estate. "Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror."
Trump also called Assad a "dictator" who "launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians."
The U.S. Embassy in Damascus, Syria's capital, tweeted video of the rockets being launched.
"We are assessing the results of the strike," the U.S. Defense Department said in a statement Thursday night. "Initial indications are that this strike has severely damaged or destroyed Syrian aircraft and support infrastructure and equipment at Shayrat Airfield, reducing the Syrian Government's ability to deliver chemical weapons. The use of chemical weapons against innocent people will not be tolerated.”
Following the strike, Russia slammed Trump’s decision to launch a missile attack in a Middle Eastern country.
The Russian government called it "act of aggression against a sovereign Syria."
Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, a man who reportedly has ties to Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, also had strong words for the U.S. government.
"The presidency of the Arab Syrian republic asserts that what America carried out was an irresponsible act that only reflects short-sightedness, a narrow perspective and political and military blindness toward reality," Assad said in a statement Friday.
He added: "The fact that the United States of America has committed this shameful act by targeting an airport of a sovereign state clearly demonstrates, once again, what Syria has said and continues to say –- that changing administrations doesn’t change the deep policies of this government, namely, the targeting of countries, the subjugation of people and an attempt to dominate the world."
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