U.S. President Trump announces military strikes in Syria

Syria's capital of Damascus has been rocked by loud explosions that have litup the sky with heavy smoke as U.S. President Donald Trump announced airstrikes in retaliation for the country's alleged use of chemical weapons.

Trump said the U.S., France and Britain launched military strikes in Syria to punish President Bashar Assad for his alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians and to deter him from doing it again.

In an address to the nation, Trump said he has asked U.S. partners "to take greater responsibility for securing their home region, including contributing large amounts of money for the resources, equipment and all of the anti-ISIS effort.''

He added increased engagement from countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Egypt can ensure that Iran does not profit from the defeat of the Islamic State group.

He also said "America does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria, under no circumstances'' and says that, "as other nations step up our contributions, we look forward to the day when we can bring our warriors home.'' 

Trump warned Russia and Iran about their association with the Syrian strongman.

Speaking from the White House, Trump said, "to Iran and to Russia, I ask: What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?''

Trump called the two countries those "most responsible for supporting, equipping and financing the criminal Assad regime.''

Trump said "the nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep.''

He said ominously, "hopefully someday we'll get along with Russia, and maybe even Iran, but maybe not.''

More than 40 people were killed and 500 injured -- including women and children -- after poison gas was used in the attack.

The decision to strike, after days of deliberations, marked Trump's second order to attack Syria; he authorized a barrage of Tomahawk cruise missiles to hit a single Syrian airfield in April 2017 in retaliation for Assad's use of sarin gas against civilians.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said it's clear to Canada chemical weapons were used and that they were used by the Assad regime.

She didn't specify how she knows the Syrian government is responsible.





-With files from The Associated Press