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  • ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump ordered a strike on Syria Friday in response to last weekend's chemical weapons attack.Addressing the nation Friday evening, Trump said the strike was a joint operation with France and the United Kingdom."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," Trump said.Trump said the "massacre" last weekend in Syria was a "significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very terrible regime.""The evil and the despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children thrashing in pain and gasping for air. These are not the actions of a man," Trump said, referring to Assad. "They are crimes of a monster instead."In a later briefing, Defense Secretary James Mattis said the strike demonstrates the international resolve to prevent the use of chemical weapons, saying that he is "confident the Syrian regime conducted a chemical attack on innocent people in the last week.""Clearly, the Assad regime did not get the message last year," Mattis said, adding that this time the U.S. struck harder."We have gone to great lengths to avoid civilian and foreign casualties," he said, adding, "I believe that we sent a very strong message."Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford said the strike specifically hit three targets associated with the production and storage of chemical weapons: a scientific research center, a storage center for sarin and its precursor components, and a chemical weapons storage facility and command post."Important infrastructure was destroyed," said Dunford.There were no reports of American losses, Mattis said.Russia was not notified before launching airstrikes against Syria, Dunford said, adding that no additional strikes are planned.Social posts out of Syria showed flames lighting up the dark skies. Explosions could be heard as well.Syrian state media confirmed that the scientific research center in Barzeh, north of Damascus, was targeted in the attack, adding that a number of rockets targeting warehouses belonging to the Syrian army in Homs were allegedly intercepted.The Russian Defense Ministry held a briefing Saturday in which they said 71 of the 103 missiles fired were intercepted. The Syrian government offered similar claims, though neither provided evidence to back up the claims. Russia also said no one was killed by any of the strikes.Syrian state media said it was a "cowardly terrorist attack," only done for “America to save face.”In his remarks, Trump also delivered a message to Iran and Russia."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? The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep. No nation can succeed in the long run by promoting rogue states, brutal tyrants and murderous dictators," Trump said."In 2013, President Putin and his government promised the world that they would guarantee the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons," he said of Russia's president, Vladimir Putin. "Assad's recent attack and today's response are the direct result of Russia's failure to keep that promise. 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. Hopefully, someday we'll get along with Russia and maybe even Iran. But maybe not."Putin responded to the attack against Syria on Saturday, saying "an act of aggression against a sovereign state that is at the forefront of the fight against terrorism has been committed.""Very quickly we need to put options on the table to see if Russia is willing to engage in a multilateral process," a source within the French presidency said Saturday.Trump added that the U.S. "does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria.""We look forward to the day when we can bring our warri
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