US AIR STRIKES HIT DAMASCUS – Trump announces Syria air strikes in response to chemical attack

President Donald Trump appeared on television tonight to announce that the United States military is now striking 'chemical weapons sites' in Syria by air, with coordination from the military forces of France and Britain.

Multiple US defense officials say that both US ships and aircrafts were used in the strikes in Syria. Syrian air forces have launched counter-strikes.

Syrian state television reports to have shot down some 13 U.S. missiles. Take that as you will.

President Trump said he ordered precision strikes targeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons capabilities, after a gas attack that killed at least 60 people on April 7.

"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 in a televised address from the White House.

It's been quite a week for the President, with personal legal crises exploding on the home front. Did he take America to war in an attempt to distract from his self-implosion?

The President didn't say this was a one-off strike. He described it in the televised address as an open-ended military mission. There is no end date. There is no clear goal. There was no Congressional approval.

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

Victims of a suspected chemical attack in Douma, Syria, on Sunday. Residents said they heard objects falling from the sky, followed by a strange smell that witnesses said resembled chlorine. Credit Emad Aldin/EPA, via Shutterstock