NATIONAL SECURITY

President Trump: Syria Airstrike in ‘Vital National Security Interest’ of U.S.

Speaking from his beachside Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, President Donald Trump declared Thursday night that a late-night airstrike on a Syrian airfield was in the “vital national-security interest” of the United States, adding that “there can be no dispute” that the Syrian government used chemical weapons in an attack on its own civilian population this week. “It is in this vital national-security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons,” Trump told reporters, calling on “all civilized nations” to address the Syrian civil war, now in its seventh year. The airstrike, launched at roughly 4 a.m. local time, involved more than 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles launched toward an airbase near the Syrian city of Homs from ships in the eastern Mediterranean. A U.S. official confirmed to The Daily Beast that the U.S. military struck a chemical-weapons facility in the strike, likely the same facility from which Tuesday’s Idlib province attack was launched.