'I knew they would seize on this but felt it is such a great Military term, it should be brought back. The army mentioned there have been three targets: the Barzah chemical weapons analysis and growth website within the Damascus space, a chemical weapons storage facility close to Homs and a chemical weapons "bunker" a couple of miles from the second goal. Mattis said that no follow-up strikes are planned, adding that the Pentagon was careful to ensure the safety of Russian and Syrian civilians nearby.
Trump didn't seem to care, or know that the phrase was a political minefield, when he deployed it on Saturday. He said Syria's air defences were ineffective and that numerous more than 40 surface-to-air missiles fired by the Syrians were launched after the allied attack was over.
And yet McKenzie did not rule out the possibility of future chemical weapons attacks by the Assad regime.
The missile strike that Trump was referring to occurred on Friday night.
While the chemical weapons attack has put Syria fully on Trump's radar, experts say it's unlikely to persuade him to stay the course in Syria beyond defeating Islamic State.
A chorus of voices across the American political spectrum expressed support for Trump's latest strikes, but criticized the lack of a broader U.S. Syria strategy that could end the seven-year war - with or without Assad. The Syrian air defenses missed the incoming missiles and kept firing even after the last US, British and French strikes were complete. In a USA military action a year ago in response to a sarin gas attack, missiles took out almost 20 percent of the Syrian air force, the Pentagon said.
"There's nonetheless a residual ingredient of the Syrian program that's on the market", McKenzie mentioned, including, "I am not going to say they will be unable to proceed to conduct a chemical assault sooner or later".
A former officer in Syria's chemical program, Adulsalam Abdulrazek, said Saturday the joint U.S., British, and French strikes hit "parts of but not the heart" of the program.
Western powers have no plans for further missile strikes on Syria but will assess their options if Damascus uses chemical weapons again, Britain's foreign minister said on Sunday as debate raged over the legality and effectiveness of the raids, Reuters reported. The NATO alliance gave its full backing; NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in Brussels that the attack was about ensuring that chemical weapons can not be used with impunity.
Trump's U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, told the session that the president has made it clear that if Assad uses poison gas again, "the United States is locked and loaded". That did not mean military strikes would continue. What occurs subsequent, she mentioned, is as much as Assad and to his Russian and Iranian allies.
"Is there ANYONE in the White House with an understanding of history?" he asked.