9th UPDATE: 10:20 p.m. EDT:
8th UPDATE: 10:02 p.m. EDT: Al Jazeera reports that the Syrian government has a different interpretation of the missile attack, stating
“American aggression targets Syrian military targets with a number of missiles”.
7th UPDATE: 9:58 p.m. EDT: The president called the missile strike necessary and a “vital national security interest.” He suggested that Assad’s potential use of chemical weapons again and the chronic civil war in Syria were threats to the U.S.
6th UPDATE: 9:45 p.m. EDT:
5th UPDATE: 9:43 p.m. EDT: FWIW:
4th UPDATE: 9:37 p.m. EDT: An impertinent question to some people, and a valid one to others: If the president did not get Congressional authority to carry out this attack, hasn’t he violated the Constitution?
3rd UPDATE: 9:30 p.m. EDT: Two immediate reactions:
- This kind of limited attack — meaning an effort to degrade Syria’s air power — was consistent with ideas floated by the Obama administration
- Terribly ironic that this president speaks of wanting to punish Assad for attacking innocent people when he has spoken so negatively about the innocents who already fled the country
2nd UPDATE: 9:23 p.m. EDT: AFP tweet:
#BREAKING US launches ’70 precision guided missiles’ at Syrian targets: official
1st UPDATE: 9:20 p.m. EDT: NBC News also reporting that more than four-dozen missiles were fired by U.S. planes into Syria.
It does not appear that Congressional leaders were briefed about the planned attack.