President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his use of the phrase "Mission Accomplished" to describe a US-led missile attack on Syria, even as his aides stressed continuing US troop involvement and plans for new economic sanctions against Russia for enabling the Syria government.
Stepping up the pressure on Syria's president, US Ambassador Nikki Haley indicated the sanctions to be announced Monday would be aimed at sending a message to Russia, which she said has blocked six attempts by the UN Security Council to make it easier to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons.
"Everyone is going to feel it at this point," Haley said, warning of consequences for Syria's foreign allies.
"The international community will not allow chemical weapons to come back into our everyday life," she said. "The fact he was making this more normal and that Russia was covering this up, all that has got to stop."
Trump tweeted Sunday that the strike was "perfectly carried out" and that "the only way the Fake News Media could demean was by my use of the term "Mission Accomplished."" He added that he knew the media would "seize" on the phrase, but said it should be used often. "It is such a great Military term, it should be brought back," he wrote.
Trump tweeted "Mission Accomplished" on Saturday after US, French and British warplanes and ships launched more than 100 missiles nearly unopposed by Syrian air defenses.
His choice of words recalled a similar claim associated with President George W. Bush following the US-led invasion of Iraq. Bush addressed sailors aboard a Navy ship in May 2003 alongside a "Mission Accomplished" banner, just weeks before it became apparent that Iraqis had organized an insurgency that would tie down US forces for years.
Later Sunday, Trump sent a letter to congressional leaders informing them in writing of his decision to order the strike. Under the War Powers Resolution, the president must keep Congress informed of such actions.
Haley made clear the US won't be pulling troops out of Syria right away, saying US involvement there "is not done."
"We're not going to leave until we know we've accomplished those things," she said.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team