Trump promises response to Syrian chemical attack
In the wake of the recent chemical attack that killed at least 70 people, including women and children, in the Idlib province of Syria, Trump was fired up about his administration’s next steps in the region, Sputnik reported.
During his press conference with King Abdullah II of Jordan, Trump was quick to put the blame for the use of the weapons of mass destruction on the Syrian government.
"These heinous actions by the Assad regime cannot be tolerated," he emphasized.
The lethal gas attack "had a big impact on me," he added, saying that this changed his attitude toward President of Syria Bashar Assad.
The chemical attack was an "affront to humanity," he said, adding that the US is raising its voice with the global chorus denouncing the tragedy. Biochemical warfare against enemy militants and innocent civilians "cannot be tolerated," Trump said.
Assad responded to reports of the attack by saying that there are no chemical weapons left in Syria, making it impossible that the attack could have stemmed from the Syrian government.
Moscow succeeded in negotiating a deal with Damascus to oversee the elimination of its chemical weapons arsenal in 2014. In that same year, Russia and Syria completed the goal of destroying all the weapons under the direct supervision of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
The Russian and Syrian armed forces insist that Syrian forces did not use chemical weapons in the Idlib province or elsewhere. The two militaries agreed to launch a rigorous investigation into the tragedy on Wednesday. Earlier on Wednesday, the Russian Defense Ministry suggested that an airstrike conducted by the Syrian Army could have destroyed a warehouse where the rebels kept their chemical weapons.
Last week, the Trump administration announced there was no choice but to "accept the political reality" of Assad’s administration.
However, today Trump said that his strategy is to remain "flexible" with Syria, while noting that the attack will not go unnoticed.
"I now have responsibility" to respond to the chemical attack, Trump said. "When you kill innocent little babies” this crosses not just a red line but "many, many lines."
Nevertheless, Trump did not show his hand regarding how he would move forward in the Middle East. "I am not going to be telling anyone one way or another," he said.