The United States is expected to introduce new sanctions against Russian companies with links to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, following the coordinated U.S., British and French military strikes against two chemical weapons storage facilities and a research center in Syria on Friday night. Trump hailed the military strikes a success, in a tweet Saturday morning, writing, “A perfectly executed strike last night. Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!”
The military strikes came in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma over a week ago. The attack has not yet been independently investigated. The U.S. has blamed the Assad government for the alleged attack. On Sunday, United Nations chemical weapons investigators began examining the scene of the alleged attack, which came amid a brutal campaign by the Syrian government to retake the rebel-held district of Eastern Ghouta outside the capital Damascus. A pro-Assad official told The New York Times the bases had been evacuated well before the coordinated military strikes, thanks to an advance warning from Russia. Multiple experts say the strikes were carefully coordinated to avoid escalating the United States’ role in the ongoing conflict. This is U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, speaking on Saturday at the United Nations.
Nikki Haley: “Last night, we obliterated the major research facility that it used to assemble weapons of mass murder. I spoke to the president this morning, and he said, 'If the Syrian regime uses this poisonous gas again, the United States is “locked and loaded.”' When our president draws a red line, our president enforces the red line.”
Over the weekend, crowds gathered in cities across the U.S. and the world to protest against the U.S., British and French military strikes. Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron said he convinced President Trump not to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, reversing Trump’s pledge earlier this month that he would withdraw thousands of troops stationed there.