Trump says missile strikes against Syria in U.S. "vital interest"

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-07 13:23:04|Editor: Zhang Dongmiao
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PALM BEACH, United States, April 6 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he had ordered targeted missile strikes at a Syrian military airfield and called the strikes in the nation's "vital interest."

Speaking to reporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump said the Syrian government "ignored the urging of the UN Security Council."

"It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons," said Trump.

"The refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilize."

According to local news reports, U.S. warships launched over 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian government airbase.

The United States believed that Syrian planes based at the airbase had carried out chemical attacks on Tuesday that killed over 70 people and wounded scores of others, most of whom civilians in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib.

U.S. TV network CNN quoted a U.S. defense official as saying that the strikes, launched from U.S. warships based in the Eastern Mediterranean, was targeted on runway, aircraft and fuel points.

Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, told MSNBC on Thursday night that there were "no current plans for additional strikes" after being briefed by U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said early on Thursday that the Syrian airstrike on a rebel-held town in Idlib struck a rebel depot containing chemical materials, denying that the air force fired toxic gas during the attack.

At a press conference held in response to the international accusation that Syria allegedly fired toxic gas in Idlib, al-Moallem said the reports are "lies."

He said it's not logical to use chemical weapons at a time when the Syrian government was optimistic that the international community was getting closer to realizing the size of conspiracy on Syria.