Following a massive US strike on Syrian targets on April 17, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said during UN Security Council meeting that Washington was "locked and loaded" to conduct news strikes against the war-torn Middle East country, Sputnik News reports.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Trump wanted to do heavier damage to Assad's war machine but ultimately settled on degrading his chemical weapons capability in part because he was reminded that part of his domestic political base was opposed to the United States getting dragged deeper into the Syria quagmire. It famously was on a backdrop banner when President George W. Bush stood on the deck of an aircraft carrier in May 2003 and prematurely declared victory in Iraq.
President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his use of the phrase Mission Accomplished to describe a US-led missile attack on Syria's chemical weapons program, even as his aides stressed continuing USA troop involvement and plans for new economic sanctions against Russian Federation for enabling the government of Bashar Assad.
"The red line set by France in May 2017 has been crossed", he said. He acknowledged, however, that Syria retains "residual" capacity but gave no details about what could be left.
"British Prime Minister Theresa May said in London that the West had tried "every possible" diplomatic means to stop Assad from using chemical weapons".
The Russian foreign ministry, however, accused the allies of acting when they did "to hamper the work of the OPCW inspectors". "We are not scared of America's missiles".
In an article for The Sunday Telegraph, he said: "Unless we act there is a risk of moral contamination, a coarsening and corruption of what we have until now thought to be acceptable".
Western countries blamed Syria's government for a chemical attack on a rebel-held area earlier this month that killed more than 40 people.
Protestors gathered in Midtown Saturday to show their disapproval of US involvement in Syria.
Russian Federation and Syria also clashed with the three Western allies over the legality of the air strikes and responsibility for the Security Council's paralysis.
World closes ranks: Russian Federation and Syria have found little support for their position.
One official cautioned, however, that USA intelligence assessments indicate Assad still has chemical weapons in Syria.
In a press briefing at the Pentagon Saturday, Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. confirmed the three distinct targets - a research facility, a weapons depot and a command center. "They lost a lot of material, and that's going to have a significant effect".
"We look forward to the day when we can bring our warriors home, and great warriors they are", said Trump. Syria is widely suspected of hiding some stocks, manufacturing more as well as holding on to chlorine.
In that case, he said it would be up to the United Nations to intervene. He said three civilians were injured during a strike at one site.
The U.S. -led operation won broad Western support.
But analysts question the reasons for these latest raids - which signalled that Western leaders would not let a chemical weapons attack go without punishment - but demurred about deeper involvement when barrel bombs are used.
Retaliatory attacks: In response, the US, France and the United Kingdom launched attacks early Saturday morning against three sites near Damascus and Homs that were allegedly used for the research, development production, testing and storage of chemical weapons.