The United States, United Kingdom, and France joined in a combined operation on April 14 that used “precision” strikes against Syria’s chemical weapons infrastructure.
In 2013, when then-president Barack Obama geared up to attack Syrian regime targets after Syrian President Bashar Assad killed 1,400 people in a sarin gas attack on East Ghouta, the British parliament refused to authorize British forces to participate in the planned strike.
On Saturday, Mattis told reporters the missile strike was a “one-time shot.” Last Thursday, Mattis told Congress, “Our role in Syria is the defeat of ISIS.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump pushed Mattis and his generals to expand the range of the attack to punish Iran and Russia for enabling the regime’s use of chemical weapons.
By saying the U.S. would respond to chemical attacks, Obama signaled that conventional killing methods were fine by him.