The evening of Friday 7 April, Donald Trump ordered the USS Porter and USS Ross to fire 59 Tomahawk Cruise missiles into the Sharyat airbase in western Homs, Syria.
From his Mar-a-Lago estate, Trump announced the strike, saying:
It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.
This has not always been Donald Trump's policy.
As early as 2013 he had been warning then-President Barack Obama against intervention in Syria:
At the same time, he advocated a forceful attack, if one was to be considered, and was sceptical about the use of chemical weapons as a reason for attacking Assad:
His message was pretty clear:
So, how does Donald Trump explain this exchange with Fox Business Network's Mornings with Maria on 11 April 2017?
We're not going into Syria. But when I see people using horrible, horrible chemical weapons, which they agreed not to use under the Obama administration, but they violated it.
They said they got rid of them.
Look, what I did should have been done by the Obama administration a long time before I did it and you would have had a much better - I think Syria would be a lot better off right now than it has been.
To make matters worse, during the same interview on Fox news, the President momentarily forgot which country he launched the air strike against.
So what happens, is I said, we just launched 59 missiles.... Heading to Iraq
Heading to Syria?
Yes... Heading toward Syria.
HT Bradd Jaffy