Graham: Syria’s post-airstrike actions are a big ‘FU’ to Trump

WASHINGTON – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s decision to immediately resume air missions out of the airfield the US bombed is a big “FU” to President Trump, one senator said Sunday.

“Here’s what I think Assad’s telling Trump by flying from this base: FU,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I think he’s making a serious mistake. Because if you’re an adversary of the United States and you don’t worry about what Trump may do on any given day, then you’re crazy.”

Graham, a leading hawk in the Senate, praised the Trump-led attack but called for 5,000 to 6,000 more US troops in the region to “close the deal.”

Assad shouldn’t underestimate Trump, who is the “new sheriff in town,” Graham said.

A day after Trump ordered that 59 Tomahawk missiles be directed at a Syrian government airfield, Assad resumed missions from the al-Shayrat air base with planes that escaped the bombs, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The US strike Thursday was designed to be a targeted mission on the site from which the deadly chemical attack was launched Tuesday.

“It is in the vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons,” Trump said in announcing the attack.

By Friday, Assad had resumed airstrikes — but not chemical ones — on Khan Sheikhoun, the same town he gassed earlier in the week.

Meanwhile, Russia responded by suspending communications with the US on its military operations in the region, which could lead to accidental clashes in the airspace over it.

Russia continues to back the Assad regime and denies the Syrian leader gassed his own people.