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Trump Orders 'Sustained' Strikes On Syria Until Stops Using Chemical Weapons

April 14, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he has ordered "precision strikes" on Syrian government facilities used to make chemical weapons and said those attacks launched jointly with France and Britain will continue until Syria stops using such weapons of mass destruction.

In an address to the nation late on April 13, Trump made good on his vow to make Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who he called a "monster" and a "criminal," pay a "big price" for an April 7 toxic gas attack on the town of Douma that killed at least 43 civilians.

Noting that he ordered air strikes a year ago over a previous Syrian toxic gas attack that killed nearly 100 people, Trump said the latest "massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very terrible regime."

Even as Trump spoke, explosions could be heard and seen lighting up the skies and sending smoke over or near Syria's capital Damascus. Syrian television said the military was countering the attack with anti-aircraft weapons.

Trump called on both Russia and Iran to stop supporting Assad's "murderous" and "terrible regime."

"What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?" he asked.

Addressing Moscow in particular, Trump said Assad's repeated use of chemical weapons against his own people is a "direct result" of Russia's failure to hold its ally to a 2013 agreement to abandon and destroy its chemical weapons.

Russia failed to keep its promise to restrain Assad, Trump said.

Now, he said Russia must decide whether to continue down a "dark path" supporting Assad's seven-year civil war, which has killed nearly a half million people, or "join civilized nations" who oppose Assad.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, Reuters, and dpa

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/trump-orders-sustained -missile-strikes-syrit-until-stops- using-chemical-weapons/29166944.html

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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