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For years Donald Trump pushed for U.S. to get out of Syria. What changed?

Click to play video: 'U.S. says missile strike on Syria ‘justified’ after reports of chemical weapons use' U.S. says missile strike on Syria ‘justified’ after reports of chemical weapons use
WATCH ABOVE: U.S. says missile strike on Syria 'justified' after reports of chemical weapons use – Apr 14, 2018

For years, U.S. President Donald Trump attacked Barack Obama on a variety of issues, including how much time the former president spent on the golf course and U.S. military involvement in Syria.

The Daily Caller collected 40 tweets issued by Trump from 2013-16 in which he expressed his displeasure over Syria.

READ MORE: Donald Trump takes to Twitter after Syria airstrikes: ‘Mission Accomplished!’

In 2013, he said, “we should stay the hell out of Syria” and “Let the Arab League take care of Syria.”

He also suggested if he was president he would “let them all fight with each other – focus on US!”

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The following year, he wrote: “Remember the terrorists that Obama has been arming in Syria against Assad. Well now they are marching on Bagdad.”

Then in 2016, he blamed Hillary Clinton’s “foreign interventions” for creating ISIS.

Less than two weeks ago, Trump spoke of bringing troops home within six months from Syria.

“Very soon, very soon, we’re coming out,” Trump told a crowd in Richfield, Ohio, on March 30. “We’re going to get back to our country, where we belong, where we want to be.”

With the new attack on Syria, things appear headed in the opposite direction.

READ MORE: Iranian Supreme leader calls Donald Trump a ‘criminal’ following airstrike on Syria

Aides told Reuters Trump changed his mind after being shown images of Syrians killed by the chemical weapons last Saturday, about a year after he first ordered air strikes against Syrian targets to retaliate for an earlier use of the banned substances.

WATCH: Pence thanks Trudeau for support of strikes in Syria

 

Click to play video: 'Pence thanks Trudeau for support of strikes in Syria' Pence thanks Trudeau for support of strikes in Syria
Pence thanks Trudeau for support of strikes in Syria – Apr 14, 2018

“When he sees these sorts of things, they outrage him,” said a source familiar with the internal debate at the White House.

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The U.S. president was also said to be upset over perceived Russian inaction over Syria using the weapons.

READ MORE: Hundreds of Syrians gather in capital, flying flags in defiance after U.S. airstrikes

Defense Secretary James Mattis, new national security adviser John Bolton, Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley were all involved in the decision to strike Syria, Reuters reports.

Behind closed doors, Trump pushed for a more aggressive response than the one taken last year, wanting options that would involve attacks on targets in Syria associated with Russia and Iran, officials said.

WATCH: U.S., Britain, France launch air strikes in Syria

 

Click to play video: 'U.S., Britain, France launch air strikes in Syria' U.S., Britain, France launch air strikes in Syria
U.S., Britain, France launch air strikes in Syria – Apr 14, 2018

His generals pushed back, not wanting to escalate tensions with those two countries, the officials said.

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READ MORE: U.S. and allies launch military strikes against Syrian chemical weapon targets

Hours after the first missiles fell on Friday night, it was not yet clear how extensive the attacks were.

Mattis described them as a “one-time shot” to send a strong message to Assad not to use chemical weapons again.

That appeared to contradict Trump’s own pledge that the United States, France and Britain would sustain the military campaign until Assad stops using prohibited chemical agents.

*With files from Reuters

 

 

 

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