VIDEOMy fellow Americans:
, Syrian Dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians. Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror.
, I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. It is in the vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread or use of deadly chemical weapons.
There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligation under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and ignored the urging of the UN Security Council. Years of previous attempts at changing Assad's behavior have all failed, and failed very dramatically. As a result, the refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continued to destabilize - threatening the United States and its allies.
, I call on all civilized nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria -- and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types. We ask for God's wisdom as we face the challenges of our very troubled world. We pray for the lives of the wounded, and for the souls of those who have passed. And we hope that as long as America stands for justice, then peace and harmony will - in the end - prevail.
Goodnight and God bless America and the entire world. Thank you.
- The United States has initiated a strike against the Shayrat Airfield in Syria. This site was associated with the Syrian regime's chemical weapons program and directly linked to the horrific chemical weapons attack April 4th.
- Our strike involved more than 59 precision guided missiles (TLAMs) from U.S. assets in the region.
- We assess with a high degree of confidence that the chemical weapons attack earlier this week was launched from this site by air assets under the command of the Assad regime.
- We also assess, with a similar degree of confidence, that the Assad regime used a chemical nerve agent consistent with sarin in these attacks. As you know, Damascus and Moscow assured us all these weapons had been removed and destroyed.
- Bashar al-Assad's chemical attacks on Syrian civilians in Idlib and Hama provinces are an unconscionable atrocity that have focused the attention of the world on the ongoing carnage in Syria. The repeated chemical weapons attacks in recent days are a disturbing escalation of Assad's history of chemical weapons use against innocent men, women, and young children over the past several years.
- It is a fact that the regime used a nerve agent, highlighting Syria's unfathomable cruelty, as well as its failure to abide by its legal obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and UN Security Council Resolution 2118, including the obligation to declare and destroy its entire chemical weapons arsenal.
- The attack on April 4 that killed scores of men, women and children, was not an isolated incident. The Assad regime has a long history of using chemical weapons. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism confirmed last year that the regime continued to use chemical weapons on multiple occasions long after it committed to relinquish its arsenal in 2013.
- The continued brutality of the Assad regime and his use of chemical weapons presents a clear threat to regional stability and security as well as the national security interests of the United States our allies. Assad's actions, highlighted by these recent attacks, have fueled the rise of terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaida, displaced millions of Syrians, and destabilized the region.
- Weapons of mass destruction use by any actor lowers the threshold for others that may seek to follow suit and threatens the international legal regime prohibiting the use of chemical weapons.
- The use of chemical weapons in an unstable country where internationally recognized terrorist groups operate and control territory also raises our intense concern about the potential for these dangerous weapons falling into the hands of terrorists who seek to harm the US, our allies, or our partners.