April 14, 2018 / 3:56 AM / 12 days ago

Highlights: U.S. President Trump announces strikes on Syria

(Reuters) - The following are highlights from U.S. President Donald Trump’s remarks on Friday announcing military strikes targeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons capabilities after a poison gas attack that killed at least 60 people last week.

U.S. President Donald Trump makes a statement about Syria at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 13, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

- “A short time ago, I ordered the United States Armed Forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now underway. We thank them both.”

- “The purpose of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons. Establishing this deterrent is a vital national security interest of the United States.”

- “The combined American, British and French response to these atrocities will integrate all instruments of our national power: military, economy and diplomatic. We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents.”

- “Last Saturday, the Assad regime again deployed chemical weapons to slaughter innocent civilians, this time in the town of Douma near the Syrian capital of Damascus. This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very terrible regime.”

- “These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster instead.”

- “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?”

- “Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path or if it will join with civilized nations as a force for stability and peace.”

- “America does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria, under no circumstances.”

- “We cannot purge the world of evil or act everywhere where there is tyranny.” - “The United States will be a partner and a friend but the fate of the region lies in the hands of its own people.”

Reporting by Reuters' Washington Bureau; Editing by Toni Reinhold

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