If the strikes were meant to deter Assad from using chemical weapons again, then they would have been more widespread, targeting a far greater number of chemical and military installations, and without the substantial warning that was given. Angus King said "it's impossible to say at this point" whether the United States' mission in Syria has been accomplished.
Just a few weeks after the beginning of the US -led invasion of Iraq in 2003, then-President George W. Bush gave a speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln under a banner which donned the words: "Mission Accomplished".
President Trump doubled down on his use of the term 'Mission Accomplished, ' which he included in a tweet about Syria Saturday morning.
However, Syria claimed that 110 missiles were launched in the strikes, and the country's defense systems intercepted a lot of them.
Trump said Friday that the United States is "prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents". Nikki Haley on the other hand, the US ambassador in the United Nations, said that the United States remains, in a direct warning to Assad and his supporters against using chemical weapons.
President Bush addressed sailors on board a Navy ship in May 2003 alongside a "Mission Accomplished" banner, just weeks before it became apparent that Iraqis had organised an insurgency that tied down USA forces for years. He also noted that while administration officials had notified congressional leaders Friday just before the strike, "they didn't supply the evidence" of chemical use.
Trump earlier this month had reluctantly agreed to keep USA troops in Syria for an undetermined period of time to defeat ISIS.
Haley said the joint military strike "put a heavy blow into their chemical weapons program, setting them back years" and reiterated that if Assad uses poison gas again, "the United States is locked and loaded".
The nighttime assault on Syria was carefully limited to minimize civilian casualties and avoid direct conflict with Russian Federation, but confusion arose over the extent to which Washington warned Moscow in advance.
"Last year, the focus was on the delivery", Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said Saturday. "I believe that we took the heart of it out with the attacks. But..."
Haley said the three US goals for accomplishing its mission are making sure chemical weapons are not used in a way that could harm USA national interests, defeating the Islamic State group and having a good vantage point to watch what Iran is doing.
British Foreign Secretary (Minister) Boris Johnson defended Prime Minister Theresa May's decision to take part in the attack, saying it was to deter further use of chemical weapons. The NATO alliance gave its full backing; NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the attack was about ensuring that chemical weapons can not be used with impunity.
"Is there ANYONE in the White House with an understanding of history?" he asked.
"We, of course, know our work in Syria is not done", U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on "Fox News Sunday". What happens next, she said, is up to Assad and to his Russian and Iranian allies.