President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he has ordered a U.S. military strike on Syria, following President Bashar Al-Assad's suspected chemical attack last week that killed over 40 people. Trump said the action was supported by France and the U.K.
On April 7, Al-Assad reportedly used chemical weapons to attack citizens in the town of Douma. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters at the White House Friday that U.S. officials had intelligence pointing to the Syrian government as responsible for the attack.
“We have a very high confidence that Syria was responsible,” Sanders said, reports the New York Times. Sanders added that Russia is "part of the problem" for not making sure Al-Assad did not use chemical weapons again.
"Did a chemical weapons attack happen? Yes," U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley told reporters at the U.N. Friday, reports CNN. "The U.S. has analyzed, yes it has happened. The U.K. has analyzed, yes, it has happened. And France has analyzed, yes, it has happened. Three countries."
French President Emmanuel Macron said earlier this week that his government has "proof" that Al-Assad used chemical weapons in the Douma attack, including evidence of chlorine being used, reports the BBC.
Haley also accused the Syrian government of using banned chemical weapons at least 50 times since the Syrian Civil War began in 2011.
However, Russia, Syria and Iran denied the use of chemical weapons by Al-Assad's government. They accused the rebels who control Douma of falsifying evidence to earn international sympathy.
After the suspected chemical weapons attack was reported, Trump threatened a response.
"Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria," the president wrote on Twitter on April 8. "Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price..."
Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2018
On April 11, Trump continued providing a window into his thought process on Twitter, responding to Russia for supporting Al-Assad.0comments
"Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart,'" Trump tweeted. "You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!"
This is the second time since becoming president that Trump has attacked Syria after it was suspected of using chemical weapons against its own people. In April 2017, the U.S. fired off 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base. However, the base was back in use the following day.