President Trump announced to the world Friday evening his administration was commencing a “strategic” military campaign aimed at destroying Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons capability.
The Commander-in-Chief’s decision comes just days after Assad used deadly chemical weapons on civilians outside Damascus; killing at least forty individuals and injuring 500 including women and children.
“We have launched strategic strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now under way. We thank them both,” said Trump.
“Last Saturday, the Assad regime again deployed chemical weapons to slaughter innocent civilians,” he added. “This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very terrible regime.”
Watch President Trump’s address above.
SYRIA SHOWDOWN: US Warships RACE to Middle East, Largest Fleet Since 2003
An “armada” of American warships set sail for the eastern Mediterranean Sea Friday; sending a clear message to Russian authorities as President Trump settles on a US response to last weekend’s deadly chemical weapons attack in Syria.
According to the New York Post, the fleet of 12 warships is the largest armada heading towards the region since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The strike group consists of the USS Truman, five escort warships, and other support vehicles.
President Trump vowed a stern US response on social media last week following dictator Bashar al-Assads brutal attack that left over 60 civilians dead; including dozens of women and children. Russian authorities have outright rejected the accusation, saying the UN was trying “to hide” evidence.
“Get ready Russia,” the President tweeted this week, adding that “smart” bombs were heading towards the region.
“Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all!” the President added.
Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all! In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. Where is our “Thank you America?”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2018
COLD WAR 2: Russian Jets, US Fighters FACE OFF Over Syria
Two US fighter jets scrambled over Syrian airspace on Thursday, chasing down a pair of Russian attack aircraft after Putin’s Air Force violated an international agreement and entered US-controlled territory.
During the altercation, the American fighters fired “flares” towards the intruding jets, in a gesture known as “head butting,” a defensive maneuver to alert enemy aircraft of your presence and willingness to engage.
“U.S. military officials raised concerns about the incident through an established hotline established in the past two years between American and Russian air forces,” reports Fox News. “In recent months, Russian jets have increasingly flown in restricted areas in eastern Syria, violating long established agreements with the U.S.-led coalition.”
The United States and Russia find themselves on opposite sides of the nearly seven-year long civil war that has ravaged Syria and the Middle East, with Washington backing Syrian-rebels and Moscow supporting the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
While the two countries support different factions, they have pledged mutual cooperation to help defeat ISIS and other terror organizations operating in the region.