Syria air strike: Trump defends 'Mission Accomplished' claim
April 15 2018 05:38 PM
Syria air strike
These images released by the US Department of Defense show the damage assessment at the Him Shinsar chemical weapons storage site before (left) and after (right) following air strikes against Syria.

AFP/Washington

US President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his having hailed a US and allied strike in Syria as "Mission Accomplished."
The phrase immediately evoked former president George W. Bush's premature Iraq victory speech on board the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003.
A banner proclaiming "Mission Accomplished" loomed in the background as Bush declared the end of major combat operations in Iraq, a claim belied by the years of hard fighting that followed. 
Trump resurrected the phrase in a tweet on Saturday after the strikes launched by US, British and French forces in response to an alleged chemical attack by the Syrian regime that killed more 40 people in a rebel-held town near Damascus. 
"The Syrian raid was so perfectly carried out, with such precision, that the only way the Fake News Media could demean was by my use of the term 'Mission Accomplished.'
"I knew they would seize on this but felt it is such a great Military term, it should be brought back. Use often!" he tweeted on Sunday.
US military officials said the air strikes took out "the heart" of Syria's chemical weapons facilities, but it remained to be seen how Syria would respond.
"We of course know our work in Syria is not done," US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on "Fox News Sunday."
"We know that it is now up to (Syrian President) Bashar al-Assad on whether he is going to use chemical weapons again, and should he use it again, the president has made it very clear that the United States is locked and loaded and ready to go," she said.



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