The 58 Tomahawk cruise missiles the US launched at a Syrian airbase were meant to show how Washington would respond to the use of chemical and other weapons of mass destruction by anyone, President Donald Trump told Fox News on Tuesday.
Donald Trump recalled that the cruise missile attack came as he was meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
“I told him, ‘Mr. President, we just sent 58 missiles into Syria to hit a certain target and he said ‘please say it again’ with his interpreter. I said ‘we just sent 58 missiles… Every single one of those missiles from 700 miles away from ships in the ocean. 58 missiles – 58 hits,’” Trump said.
Trump further added that his administration is against the use of such lethal and dangerous weapons.
“But that was done because Syria’s Assad had used chemical gases against children and we had to do that. Had President Obama gone over the red line I think that maybe he would’ve had a different story in the Middle East, but he didn’t do that,” Trump noted.
“I told [Xi Jinping] that either he is going to leave or we’ll be good friends. He didn’t leave. He understood, he really understood,” Trump added.
Washington had earlier accused Damascus of using chemical weapons following an April 4, 2017 incident in Khan Sheikhoun where, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, Syrian aviation destroyed facilities used by the terrorists to make chemical weapons.
The US believed that Damascus had used chemical weapons during the aforementioned airstrikes and on April 7, launched cruise missiles at the Shayirat airbase in Homs Province from where the Syrian warplanes had allegedly flown.
Damascus has denied any role in the alleged chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun.
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