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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Pentagon is backing President Donald Trump’s assertion that the missile strikes on Syria were “Mission Accomplished!”

Trump used the haunting political phrase “Mission Accomplished!” in a tweet Saturday morning to praise the “perfectly executed strike” against Syria.

President George W. Bush famously spoke under a “Mission Accomplished” banner in 2003 when he declared that major combat operations in Iraq were over, but the war dragged on for years.

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White says, “It was mission accomplished.”

However, one of the stated goals of the strikes was to deter Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government from using chemical weapons again. It is too soon to know if that will be the case.

White says the strikes “were very successful. We met our objectives. We hit the sites.”

WATCH: The Department of Defense released video and stills of the strikes —

 

The Pentagon says they believe the airstrikes “attacked the heart of the Syrian chemical weapons program.”

Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, says the U.S.-led airstrikes against Syria has been “a very serious blow.”

The U.S., France and Britain launched military strikes on Saturday morning in Syria to punish Assad for an apparent chemical attack against civilians last week and to deter him from doing it again.

White says the target choices were “very methodical,” calling it a “deliberate decision” to go after chemical weapons facilities. She says the U.S. was confident that they had “significantly degraded his ability to use chemical weapons ever again.”

The Pentagon also says none of the missiles filed by the U.S. and its allies was deflected by Syrian air defenses, rebutting claims by the Russian and Syrian governments.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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