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President Trump speaks after ordering attack on Syria

The US strikes came after the Syrian government used chemical weapons on civilians.

President Donald Trump on Thursday night ordered an attack on the Syrian regime, following the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons. The president spoke to reporters shortly after the strike, which hit a Syrian airbase reportedly linked to the chemical weapons attack. What follows are Trump’s full comments.

My fellow Americans, on Tuesday, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians using a deadly nerve agent. Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women, and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many — even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror.

Tonight I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. It is in this vital national security interest of the United States: to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.

There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and ignored the urging of the UN Security Council. Years of previous attempts at changing Assad’s behavior have all failed and failed very dramatically. As a result, the refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilize, threatening the United States and its allies.

Tonight I call on all civilized nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria, and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types. We ask for God’s wisdom as we face the challenge of our very troubled world. We pray for the lives of the wounded and for the souls of those who have passed. And we hope that as long as America stands for justice, then peace and harmony will in the end prevail. Good night, and God bless America and the entire world. Thank you.

For more on the attack, read Vox’s explainer.


Watch: The Syrian war, explained