Trump Vs. Obama: How the Presidents Responded to Syria Chemical Weapons Attack

Both President Donald Trump and his predecessor Barack Obama have struck Syria over suspected chemical weapons attacks within the country, but had markedly different ways of going about it.

Trump ordered an airstrike on Syria Friday in coordination with Britain and France, targeting research, military and storage sites, in response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s alleged chemical attack last weekend that resulted in more than 40 deaths.

Faced with a similar scenario, Obama responded with more restraint than Trump. Obama in 2012 stated, "We have been very clear to the Assad regime—but also to other players on the ground—that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.”

But when the Assad regime crossed Obama’s “red line” in 2013, Obama turned to Congress to authorize military intervention. In the month that followed, little support emerged for military action in Congress and the U.S. instead removed more than 1,300 tons of chemical agents from Syria.

Obama ordered airstrikes on Syria in 2014 as part of a military campaign against ISIS, after three years of calling for a regime change.

Trump on Sunday blamed Obama for not striking when Assad initially crossed his “red line.”

“If President Obama had crossed his stated Red Line In The Sand, the Syrian disaster would have ended long ago!” Trump tweeted. “Animal Assad would have been history!”

Responses by Obama and Trump had some similarity, however.

Trump in 2013 criticized Obama for making his strategy against Syria known.

“Why do we keep broadcasting when we are going to attack Syria. Why can't we just be quiet and, if we attack at all, catch them by surprise?” Trump tweeted.

But Trump on Wednesday tipped his hand as well, tweeting that missiles “will be coming,” and, “get ready.”

Saturday Trump said the Syrian missile strikes were successful: 'Mission accomplished.'

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