US President Donald Trump has revealed the reasons behind a US missile strike conducted in Syria in April 2017.
In an interview with Fox News, Trump said the missile strike against Syria in April 2017 served as a warning to China of how Washington would respond to the use of chemical weapons or weapons of mass destruction.
According to the Russian international news network Russia Today (RT), Trump added that the missile strike coincided with meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping held at his [Trump’s] residence in Florida.
Trump is reported to have said to his Chinese counterpart: “Mr. President, we have launched 58 rockets at specific sites in Syria. He asked me, through an interpreter, to repeat what I said, and I replied that every rocket that was fired hit the target from a distance of seven hundred miles.”
Trump added that his administration was typically against the use of such “lethal and dangerous weapons”, but that the US administration was forced to engage in the strikes because of Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons against children. He further stated that “if the Obama administration had passed this red line, the situation [today] in the Middle East would be slightly different”, reportedly telling Xi Jinping that “he could either leave the meeting, or we could become friends. He did not leave and he understood everything”.
The Global Times, an English-language Chinese newspaper, confirmed that Trump had “set the timing of the strike [to occur] during his dinner with the Chinese President, in order to send Xi Jinping a specific message… and to indicate his willingness to use military force in [any] conflicts arising in Taiwan, the South China Sea and, of course, North Korea”.
The US launched missile strikes against the Assad regime at the Shayrat Airbase [in Homs] in April 2017, following the use of poison gas and chemical weapons in the town of Khan Sheikhan, south of Idlib, which killed dozens of civilians.
Translated By: Anastasia Pr