President Donald Trump said Monday that the White House would decide regarding what happened on the weekend in Syria, where chemical weapons were used to kill more almost 50 civilians.
Trump denounced this atrocity and said that this kind of things could not be “allowed to happen.”
He also declared that if the responsibility relies on the Russian, the Syrian, or the Iranian governments, they will find it out and make them pay for it.
“We’re talking about humanity and it can’t be allowed to happen,” told Mr. Trump to reporters at the start of a cabinet meeting. “We’ll be making that decision very quickly, probably by the end of today. We cannot allow atrocities like that.”
Trump: ‘we’re looking at that very strongly and very seriously’
Trump said they would be making their decision in the next 24 or 48 hours. They are considering a military retaliation, just like the one they responded with to a similar assault last year.
Trump suggested Russia and Iran might have had something to do with the “heinous” attack, and that they might take measures to punish these countries too.
“If it’s Russia, if it’s Syria, if it’s Iran, if it’s all of them together, we’ll figure it out and we’ll know the answers quite soon. So we’re looking at that very strongly and very seriously” said Trump. “He may and if he does it’s going to be very tough, very tough. Everybody’s going to pay a price. He will, everybody will” said the president regarding a possible responsibility on Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom Trump has tried to maintain good relations since he arrived in the oval office.
Trump feels the pressure of the international community
Several countries have rejected the atrocity that took place in Syria last April 4. Washington felt the pressure, especially from France.
French President Emmanuel Macron called Trump on Sunday to discuss the matter. Macron has said, on several occasions, that the use of chemical weapons in Syria would be a red line. Soon after the phone call, the White House released a statement saying that both country leaders “condemned” the chemical attack and agreed that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was responsible. They also agreed to coordinate and carry out “a strong, joint response.”
The Trump’s administration is already suffering changes on its Middle East foreign policy, as there is a new national security adviser in the foreign policy team: Mr. John R. Bolton.
National security and military officer are meeting on Monday to discuss their options.
“The first thing we have to look at is why are chemical weapons still being used at all when Russia was the framework guarantor of removing all the chemical weapons,” said Defense Secretary Jim as he hosted the visiting emir of Qatar at the Pentagon. “And so, working with our allies and partners from NATO to Qatar and elsewhere, we are going to address this issue.”
At the moment, any option – including airstrikes against the Syrian government – is ruled out, according to Mattis.
Things are getting tense in the Middle East. Earlier yesterday, there was an attack carried out, apparently by Israel, against a Syrian air base used by Iranian-backed militias.
It was reported that at least 14 people lost their lives.
Russia and Syria accuse Israel after this event. However, the Israeli government has not refused to confirm his responsibility.
Tensions between the east and the west are rising
The reported chemical weapon attack was held in the suburb of Douma. It left 49 victims. Russia denied that the Syrian government had anything to do with the attack, saying that it all was carried out by militants to blame Assad’s government and justify a strike from the United States and other countries against Syria.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei V. Lavrov said the United States is just seeking a way to entrench in Syria, and that he wants American troops to be withdrawn from Syria.
“The U.S. is taking steps not to leave as President Trump said, and leave Syria for others, but to establish a foothold there for a very long time,” Mr. Lavrov stated.
On the other hand, Trump concluded that, even if they say they are not responsible, there is not much of a doubt to him that they are. According to the U.S president, Syria is not willing to allow any independent inspection of the site of the attack.
“If they’re innocent why aren’t they allowing people to go in and prove” it, he asked.
The United Nations Security Council is set to hold an emergency meeting today to discuss the use of chemical weapons in Syria. However, Russia – a nation that holds the so-called “veto power” in the UNSC – might prevent any action from being taken.
Source: The New York Times