The United States has launched a joint military strike with the UK and France against Syria, US President Donald Trump has announced.
The attack came in retaliation for a suspected deadly chemical attack in the war-torn country which killed upwards of 80 people in the rebel-held town of Douma.
When a government used chemical weapons in contravention of international law and agreements, there should be consequences.
The only thing that may stop Assad from doing this again, is that the consequences of doing so are heavy enough to deter him.
Trump, who addressed the American people from 1pm Saturday (NZT), said America had “launched precision strikes” on targets associated with Syrian chemical weapons programme of president Bashar al-Assad.
“This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very terrible regime,” he said.
“The evil and the despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children thrashing in pain and gasping for air. These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster instead”.
It was understood both military ships and aircraft were used in the strike. Shortly after Trump began his televised address, reports of explosions in the Syrian capital, Damascus emerged.
Trump also a criticised Russia, an ally of the Syrian government and suspected to be involved in the recent chemical strike, and Iran, which also provides military support to Assad.
Have to say that the notion that Trump is a vassal of Russia is not supported by the evidence that when important interests are at stake, he has done the right thing.
Putin will be furious as he threatened consequences if there were any strikes against Assad, and this makes him look weak.
“To Iran and Russia I ask: what kind of nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?”
“The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep. No nation can succeed in the long run by promoting rogue states, brutal tyrants and murderous dictators,” he said, referring to Assad.
“Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path or if it will join with civilised nations as a force for stability and peace. Hopefully someday we’ll get along with Russia and maybe even Iran, but maybe not.”
If only we had a Government and a Foreign Minister who could speak so bluntly about Russia.