Trump claims suc­cess in Syria, but chem­i­cal weapons re­main

Swazi Observer - - NEWS -

WASH­ING­TON - US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Satur­day de­clared "Mis­sion ccom­plished" for a US-led al­lied mis­sile at­tack on Syria's chem­i­cal weapons pro­gramme, but the Pen­tagon said the pum­melling of three chem­i­cal-re­lated fa­cil­i­ties left enough oth­ers in­tact to en­able the As­sad gov­ern­ment to use banned weapons against civil­ians if it chooses.

"A per­fectly ex­e­cuted strike," Trump tweeted af­ter US, French and Bri­tish war­planes and ships launched more than 100 mis­siles nearly un­op­posed by Syr­ian air de­fences. "Could not have had a bet­ter re­sult. Mis­sion Ac­com­plished!"

His choice of words re­called a sim­i­lar claim as­so­ci­ated with Pres­i­dent George W Bush fol­low­ing the US-led in­va­sion of Iraq. Bush ad­dressed sailors aboard a Navy ship in May 2003 along­side a ‘Mis­sion Ac­com­plished’ ban­ner, just weeks be­fore it be­came ap­par­ent that Iraqis had or­gan­ised an in­sur­gency that tied down US forces for years.

The night time Syria as­sault was care­fully lim­ited to min­imise civil­ian ca­su­al­ties and avoid di­rect con­flict with Syria's key ally, Rus­sia, but con­fu­sion arose over the ex­tent to which Wash­ing­ton warned Moscow in ad­vance. The Pen­tagon said it gave no ex­plicit warn­ing. The US Am­bas­sador in Moscow, John Hunts­man, said in a video, "Be­fore we took ac­tion, the United States com­mu­ni­cated with Rus­sia to re­duce the dan­ger of any Rus­sian or civil­ian ca­su­al­ties."

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