The Associated Press reported that the United States has launched approximately 50-60 missiles at a Syrian air force base following the recent chemical attack.
NBC’s Bradd Jaffy reported that the strikes focused on the al-Shayrat military field, which were launched directly by President Trump from his opulent Mar-a-Lago golf resort in Florida. The attack is likely in response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad killing several dozen Syrians in a chemical attack earlier this week. Another chemical attack rocked Syria today, though it has not yet been confirmed whether or not Assad was the perpetrator.
The chemical attack in question killed more than 80 civilians and violates existing laws, according to Notre Dame international law scholar Mary Ellen O’Connell.
“Under international law, he has zero right to attack Assad,” O’Connell told The Guardian. “It would be a reprisal attack. You won’t find any international law specialists who will find a legal right to carry out a reprisal.”
This marks the first time the White House has ordered military action against Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian President. This also marks the first time President Trump has authorized use of force unilaterally. Trump is hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago estate this weekend, where the two are expected to discuss trade policy and North Korea.
Today’s attack marks the first notably foray into the six-year civil conflict in Syria, by firing cruise missiles from two Navy destroyers in the Mediterranean at Homs province, which was the site from which the chemical attacks earlier this week is believed to have been launched from.
From some of the President’s statements, it seems that the images of lifeless children from the Idlib attack have been particularly impact in White House official’s decision-making process.
It is also being reported that a “broad list of nations” were informed in advance of the attack, but that the list does not include Russia, which has been supporting the Assad regime during the Syrian civil war.
President Trump called on an international effort to support his strikes in his statement from his Mar-a-Lago resort.
“Tonight I call on all civilizations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria,” said Trump. “And also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types.”