Trump Flip-Flops on Attacking Syria in Five Years

Trump Flip-Flops on Attacking Syria in Five Years

In Paris, France's Emmanuel Macron upped the pressure on Moscow by stating he had "proof" that the Assad's regime had used chemical weapons, and vowing a response "at a time of our choosing". Any US strike would probably involve the navy in waters within range of Syria, given the risk to aircraft from Russian and Syrian air defence systems.

The Russian military said later it had observed movements of USA naval forces in the Gulf.

The officials declined to comment further and it was not clear whether the Syrian actions would affect United States military planning for potential action against Syria over a suspected poison gas attack.

"The evil and the despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children, thrashing in pain and gasping for air".

"We will try to make it better but it is a troubled place", Trump said.

A spokesman said: "Cabinet agreed it was vital that the use of chemical weapons did not go unchallenged".

In that strike, 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched from the USS Ross and USS Porter in the Mediterranean.

Mattis disclosed that the USA had not yet confirmed that the most recent suspected Syrian chemical weapons attack, on April 7 in the Damascus suburb of Douma, included the use of sarin gas.

The president is also speaking with allies in Great Britain and France about a possible coordinated effort, though German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday her country would not participate in possible military action in Syria.

Mattis said the targets selected by U.S., British and French officials were meant to minimize civilian casualties.

The military said there were three targets - the Barzah chemical weapons research and development site in the Damascus area, a chemical weapons storage facility near Homs and a chemical weapons "bunker" a few miles from the second target. He has also attacked the former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief as "conflicted". Chemical weapons are another trick in his book. It was the base where helicopters were said to take off in the alleged chemical attack. After planning an attack and seeking congressional approval, Obama backed down and agreed to a scheme whereby Russian Federation supposedly would ensure the elimination of Assad's chemical weapons stockpile.

The British Prime Minister Theresa May, 11-04-2018.

Russian Federation and Syria quickly responded to Trump's threat on Wednesday. "This is not about intervening in a civil war". The French president said he would decide soon whether to back a military response.

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And Tory MP Zac Goldsmith warned: "We need a clear response to the Syrian chemical outrage".

Earlier in the week, Trump suggested he was committed to ordering strikes in Syria.

That assault prompted the U.S. to launch several dozen Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base.

Mattis estimated the latest air campaign was about twice the size of the 2017 strike.

The strikes were in response to a suspected gas attack on the rebel-held city of Douma last weekend.

Trump has maintained that both Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who supports the Assad regime, are to blame, but the USA has not formally confirmed either's involvement publicly. He called on Moscow to change course and join the West in seeking a more responsible regime in Damascus.

The picture of an aggressive President openly mulling an audacious power move to end a lawful probe into his campaign, while deliberately stoking tensions in a risky war zone, is one that many of his pre-election critics had feared.

He added, however, that the USA would be unlikely to warn Russian Federation of the coming strike this time.

Mattis was expected to voice those concerns in Thursday's meeting at the White House, according to USA officials.

The Trump administration has also asked the United Nations Security Council to authorize an independent inquiry into the reported chemical weapons attacks.

"The US has to be very careful not to accidentally strike Russian targets or kill Russian advisors", Ben Connable, a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, told AFP. But the description from an ally described things differently. His Russian and Iranian backers will ensure that.

In his nationwide address, Trump stressed that he has no interest in a longtime fight with Syria. "The United States has developed a new generation of electronic warfare munitions and decoys created to help USA strikes reach their targets, which could also see action".

Far from easing tensions with America's nuclear-armed rival, as most presidents may have done, he sent them into overdrive.

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