Late Thursday evening, President Donald Trump ordered a missile strike on a military airfield in Syria. The move comes after the authoritarian regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was accused of using the deadly nerve gas sarin on civilians in Idlib Province. The attack resulted in more than 100 deaths and even more hospitalized, many of the victims were children.
According to sources in the Trump administration, the president was moved by the images of the dead children and ordered the strike from his Mar-a-Lago resort. The move comes as he is meeting with the president of China, Xi Jinping, for a three-day summit on relations between the U.S. and China. Before ordering the strike, a call was made to the Russian government to warn them that the U.S. was taking action against the airfield. The target was chosen because it is suspected that the aircraft used in the sarin attack were staged from that base.
Earlier this week, Trump blamed the gas attack in Syria on President Obama and his inaction during his administration, a claim that was resoundingly denied by former Obama administration officials. While Trump was campaigning for president he admonished Obama for getting involved in the Syrian conflict, but by ordering a missile strike, he has upped the ante in the Syrian conflict. The escalation of the Syrian conflict also comes at the same time that Trump has banned Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. for humanitarian reasons unless they are persecuted Christians.
The cost of one Tomahawk missile is estimated to be $1.5 million, with the firing of at least 50, the U.S. has spent $750 million on the missile strike. The Trump administration has previously requested a $54 billion increase in the U.S. military budget. For many, this is an indication that the Trump administration is preparing for much wider military action during his presidency. The missile strike also serves as a distraction over the current scandal and investigation of Russian interaction with Trump and his campaign officials.