President Trump Sparks Social Media Backlash With 'Mission Accomplished' Tweet

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford brief members of the media on Syria

Trump resurrected the phrase in a tweet Saturday after the strikes launched by US, British and French forces in response to an alleged chemical attack by the Syrian regime.

They were the same two words made infamous by a 2003 speech and photo opportunity aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, in which Bush said "major combat operations in Iraq have ended".

The then-president stood before a massive banner that read "Mission Accomplished", though US troops had actually been deployed in the area just a month before.

"It's a tough contradiction for him to sort out", the official said.

Russian Federation has military forces, including air defenses, in several areas of Syria to support Assad in his long war against anti-government rebels.

Russian Federation called an emergency meeting of the United Nation's Security Council to introduce a resolution condemning the "aggression" of the joint strike from U.S., British and French forces.

Former Bush White House staffers tweeted that Trump should have avoided the phrase.

At a news conference at the Pentagon after Trump announced the operation Friday night, Defense Secretary James Mattis described the strikes as a "one-time shot" and "a little over double the weapons" used by the Trump administration when it carried out a similar assault in April 2017 that consisted of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles. The U.S. says it suspects that sarin gas also was used.

The president responded to the outrage early on Sunday morning.

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But White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders insisted Sunday that the strike was a success. The military said there were three targets: the Barzah chemical weapons research and development site in the Damascus area, a chemical weapons storage facility near Homs and a chemical weapons "bunker" a few miles from the second target.

The U.S. -led operation won broad Western support. The NATO alliance gave its full backing; NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in Brussels that the attack was about ensuring that chemical weapons can not be used with impunity.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the attack "necessary and appropriate".

Commentators questioned the message behind the latest strike - which signaled that Western allies would not let a chemical weapons attack go without punishment - but demurred about deeper involvement when barrel bombs by the Assad government kill far greater numbers of Syrians. That did not mean military strikes would continue.

Haley said the three USA goals for accomplishing its mission are making sure chemical weapons are not used in a way that could harm US national interests, defeating the Islamic State group and having a good vantage point to watch what Iran is doing.

Several U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was not a priority for the administration to push out Assad, who has survived with massive aid from Iran and Russian Federation.

"We've attacked the heart of the Syrian chemical weapons program", said Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. He said the missiles hit the "sweet spot", doing the expected level of damage while minimizing the unintentional release of toxic fumes that could be harmful to nearby civilians. It is about ISIS and deterring Assad's use of chemical weapons. "It does not exist anymore".

The strike on Syria does not represent a change in USA policy in Syria, senior administration officials revealed Saturday. "The strikes don't alter that reality", Ross said. Speaking from rebel-held northern Syria, Abdulrazek told The Associated Press there were perhaps 50 warehouses in Syria that stored chemical weapons before the program was dismantled in 2013.

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