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Trump briefs Congress over Syria airbase attack

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Donald Trump delivers a statement about missile strikes on a Syrian airfield, at his estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, US, April 6, 2017. (Photos by Reuters)

US President Donald Trump has warned of further military actions in Syria while notifying the Congress of bombing a Syrian airbase a day after the attack.

The United States "will take additional action, as necessary and appropriate, to further its important national interests," said Trump in a letter addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan on Saturday.

In the letter, he also gave the specifics of a Friday attack in which he ordered US warships in nearby Mediterranean waters to launch a missile strike against al-Shayrat airbase in Syria’s Homs province, which Washington alleged was the base from where a chemical attack in Idlib was launched on Tuesday.

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"I directed this action in order to degrade the Syrian military's ability to conduct further chemical weapons attacks and to dissuade the Syrian regime from using or proliferating chemical weapons, thereby promoting the stability of the region and averting a worsening of the region's current humanitarian catastrophe," he said.

A hangar at the Syrian Shayrat Air Base is seen in this still image taken from undated handout video.

Syria has categorically denied carrying out the purported gas attack, with Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem stressing that the Idlib airstrike had targeted a depot, where terrorists stored chemical weapons.

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Trump added that he “acted in the vital national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations and as commander in chief and chief executive.”

He also noted that he was informing Congress in accordance with the War Powers Resolution, which mandates that the president inform Congress about military actions.   

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