Trump defends "mission accomplished" statement in wake of Syria air strikes

The Us president said it is "such a great military term" that it should be “brought back”

Trump defends "mission accomplished" statement in wake of Syria air strikes

US President Donald Trump arrives at the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House after the military strikes were launched, 14-04-2018. Image: Susan Walsh/AP/Press Association Images

US President Donald Trump has defended his use of the phrase "mission accomplished" after the American-led missile strikes on Syria.

In a tweet this afternoon, President Trump said he knew it would be seized on by the media, but said it is "such a great military term" that it should be “brought back.”

Use of the same phrase by George W Bush, during the Iraq war, dogged him for the rest of his presidency.

Independent investigation

The US, UK and France have called for an independent investigation into allegations that Syrian Government forces are using chemical weapons – a day after launching over 100 missiles at the war-torn country.

The three allies have circulated a joint draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council.

The plan would see the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons instructed to report back within 30 days on whether President Bashar al Assad's government has fully disclosed its chemical weapons stockpile.

The document also calls for a ceasefire resolution that was adopted in February to be enforced and "demands" that the Assad regime engage in peace talks "in good faith, constructively and without pre-conditions."

The allies are also demanding medical evacuations and the safe passage for aid convoys to all areas of Syria.

War Powers Act

The UK Cabinet made the decision to join the offensive without the backing of the British Parliament – a move that has seen opposition leader calling for new legislation that would make it illegal to launch military action without MPs approval.

"I think what we need in this country is something more robust like a War Powers Act so that governments do get held to account by Parliament for what they do in our name," he told the BBCs Andrew Marr programme.

He also questioned British Prime Minister Theresa May's assertion that the airstrikes were justified on humanitarian grounds, saying this was "legally debatable."

Chemical weapons

Meanwhile, Inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are due to begin work at the site of the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma just outside Damascus.

Syrian allies, Iran and Russia have condemned the action, with Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov insisting the chemical attack was staged, and claiming the West can't prove otherwise.

Syrian President Bashar al Assad said the strikes will only increase his government's determination to continue what he described as his 'war against terrorism.'

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has insisted the coordinated air strikes had nothing to do with forcing a regime change in Syria or “trying to turn the tide” of the conflict in the Middle Eastern country.

He said it is important to communicate to Russia, Iran and Syria that the attacks were solely about the use of chemical weapons.