“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 U.N. Security Council,” Trump said in a three-minute statement to reporters late Thursday from his Mar-a-Lago retreat. “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.”
Trump, speaking slowly and from prepared remarks on a teleprompter, accused Assad of “chok(ing) out the lives of helpless men, women and children.”
“No child of God should ever suffer such horror,” he said.
Trump said previous attempts to deter Assad’s aggression had “failed dramatically,” but he did not criticize his predecessor, Barack Obama, by name, as he has in recent days. But he said that failed approach had led to a worsening refugee crisis and further destabilization of the region, “threatening the United States and its allies.”
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Transcript of President Donald Trump’s remarks
This is the transcript of President Donald Trump’s remarks on Syria delivered Thursday night at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., as provided by the White House.
“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 U.N. 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.
(Staff writer Michael A. Memoli contributed to this report.)
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