9:40 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: My fellow Americans: On Tuesday, 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.
Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons. There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and ignored the urging of the U.N. 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 continues to destabilize, threatening the United States and its allies.
Tonight, 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 challenge 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.
Tennessee Republican lawmakers voiced support today for President Trump's decision to launch a missile attack on the Syrian air base from which the United States says that Syria launched chemical weapons against its own citizens.
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he backed the president's decision and hopes the administration will now "engage with Congress and clearly communicate its full strategy to the American people."
"The U.S. and world community stood by as Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad brutally tortured and murdered more than 500,000 of his own people, and I applaud President Trump for taking decisive action following the latest chemical weapons attack," said Corker. "It is critical that Assad knows he will no longer enjoy impunity for his horrific crimes against his own citizens, and this proportional step was appropriate."
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said the attack was an "appropriate immediate response" but added "the president should seek authorization from Congress for any further military action in Syria."
"The limited missile strike launched Thursday night against the air base in Syria was an appropriate immediate response to President Assad's use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, including Syrian children. Under our Constitution, the president should seek authorization from Congress for any further military action in Syria so that we can evaluate the long-term consequences of his plans and determine whether additional engagement would be in the vital national security interest of the United States."
U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., also voiced support for the military attack of the Syrian air base.
"For some time I have been deeply concerned about the horrific crimes Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has committed against his own people," Fleischmann said. "I completely support President Trump's crucial and necessary action to strike the Syrian airbase. The limited missile strike showed America will not tolerate such inhumane actions."