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Trump defends 'Mission Accomplished' claim

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    Agence France-Presse

Washington, United States | Sun, April 15, 2018 | 09:25 pm
Trump defends 'Mission Accomplished' claim US President Donald Trump addresses the nation on the situation in Syria April 13, 2018 at the White House in Washington, DC. Trump said strikes on Syria are under way. (Agence France -Presse/Mandel Ngan)

US President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his having hailed a US and allied strike in Syria as  "Mission Accomplished."

The phrase immediately evoked former president George W. Bush's premature Iraq victory speech on board the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003.

A banner proclaiming "Mission Accomplished" loomed in the background as Bush declared the end of major combat operations in Iraq, a claim belied by the years of hard fighting that followed. 

Trump resurrected the phrase in a tweet Saturday after the strikes launched by US, British and French forces in response to an alleged chemical attack by the Syrian regime that killed more 40 people in a rebel-held town near Damascus.   

"The Syrian raid was so perfectly carried out, with such precision, that the only way the Fake News Media could demean was by my use of the term 'Mission Accomplished.'

"I knew they would seize on this but felt it is such a great Military term, it should be brought back. Use often!" he tweeted on Sunday.

US military officials said the air strikes took out "the heart" of Syria's chemical weapons facilities, but it remained to be seen how Syria would respond.

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