Mattis told Pentago reporters that the action was necessary because Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had not been deterred from using chemical weapons against rebel military forces seeking to overthrow him and civilian populations in areas controlled by the insurgents.
"Based on recent experience, we fully expect a significant disinformation campaign over the coming days by those who have aligned themselves with the Assad regime", he said.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told lawmakers he believes a chemical weapons attack occurred in Syria last weekend, but the Trump administration was still assessing conclusive evidence and deciding how to respond, including, whether to attack Syria with USA military strikes, as of Thursday.
Nevertheless, there is a view among Trump's national security team that the President's tweets earlier this week - including one threatening U.S. missiles "will be coming, nice and new and "smart" " - forced their hand and made some type of strikes inevitable. That strike was in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed 80 civilians. A huge fire could be seen from a distance to the east.
Nonetheless Trump says America would not search "an indefinite presence" in Syria and might look to pull out its troops as quickly because the Islamic State is totally defeated. Syrian television reported that air defenses responded to the attack. After the assault ceased and the early morning skies went darkish as quickly as additional, autos with loudspeakers roamed the streets of Damascus blaring nationalist songs. President Bashar Assad's authorities denies responsibility.
Mattis said he personally believes Syria is guilty of an "inexcusable" use of chemical weapons, while noting that the worldwide fact-finding team would likely fall short of determining who was responsible. He is not giving details about what equipment is involved in the operation or what sites it is targeting. Trump's ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, told NBC News on Thursday the administration has "enough proof" of the chemical attack but was still considering its response. But he said the United States did not tip off Russian Federation about the attacks or the targets.
The President also insisted that the United States would not remain engaged in Syria forever under any circumstances.More news: Khloe Kardashian Spared No Expense for Baby Nursery, Source Says
"Important infrastructure was destroyed, which will result in a setback for the Syrian regime - and they will lose years of research and development data, specialized equipment and expensive chemical-weapons precursors", Dunford said.
"The U.S. - the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons - has no moral right to blame other countries", the Russian embassy in the U.S. said in a statement.
Trump calls the two worldwide places these "most accountable for supporting, equipping and financing the felony Assad regime".
"But now we have to make some further decisions, so they'll be made fairly soon".
He supplies ominously, "Hopefully someday we'll get along with Russian Federation, and even perhaps Iran, nevertheless maybe not".