On Friday evening, Donald Trump announced that there would be precision missile strikes conducted against Syria in retaliation for alleged chemical weapons attacks that occurred on April 7 in Douma.
The White House called for the press pool to gather shortly after 8:30 p.m. on Friday, and the president made his announcement from the White House.
“To Iran and to Russia, I ask: What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?” Trump said. “Hopefully someday we will get along with Russia, and maybe even Iran. But maybe not.”
His announcement follows a threat that he issued early Wednesday morning via Twitter in which he said, “Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’ You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”
While the attack on Douma is believed to have been carried out by the Bashar Assad regime, it has denied responsibility for the attacks.
A source told CNBC on Thursday that in anticipation of possible U.S. strikes against it, Syria repositioned a significant number of its air assets in Russia-controlled airfields—a move that Syria hoped would make the U.S. reluctant to strike it.