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Trump ‘considering Syria military action’

Thursday - 06/04/2017 15:00
Trump ‘considering Syria military action’ US PRESIDENT Donald Trump is reportedly considering military action in Syria in retaliation for the horror chemical attack.
President Donald Trump is reportedly considering military action in Syria. Picture: AP Photo/Susan Walsh
President Donald Trump is reportedly considering military action in Syria. Picture: AP Photo/Susan Walsh

A source told CNN Mr Trump has discussed possible actions with Defence Secretary James Mattis, whose judgement he is relying on, but hasn’t decided what to do.

US officials told CNN the Pentagon has long-standing options to strike Syria’s chemical weapons capability. These have been presented to the administration.

It comes after President Trump condemned the strike on rebel-held Khan Sheikhun, which left 86 dead, and dozens convulsing and foaming at the mouth.

“It crossed a lot of lines for me,” Mr Trump said at a joint White House news conference with Jordan’s King Abdullah on Wednesday.

“When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, little babies ... that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line, many, many lines. I will tell you, it’s already happened, that my attitude towards Syria and Assad has changed very much ... You’re now talking about a whole different level.”

It’s an about-face from President Trump, who in 2013 urged then-president Barack Obama not to intervene against President Bashar al-Assad after a major suspected chemical attack.

Mr Trump on Wednesday did not go into detail about what a US response to the atrocity would be — and he has previously opposed deeper US military involvement in Syria’s civil war.

Previously, the White House had said its sole focus in Syria was defeating the jihadist Islamic State, not on ending Assad’s civil war against opposition fighters.

AUTOPSIES CONFIRM CHEMICAL WEAPONS

Autopsies of three Syrians have confirmed that chemical weapons were used by Assad’s regime in the horrific attack.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said the World Health Organisation supervised the autopsies after almost 60 victims from Tuesday’s atrocity were evacuated to his country for treatment. Three of them died.

“Autopsies were carried out on three of the bodies after they were brought from Idlib. The results of the autopsy confirms that chemical weapons were used,” he said. “This scientific investigation also confirms that Assad used chemical weapons.”

The deaths sparked international outrage at Assad’s regime, but his government continued to deny it carried out the chemical attack in the Idlib province town.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem insisted to reporters in Damascus that the government never used — and will not use — chemical weapons.

“I stress to you once again: the Syrian army has not, did not and will not use this kind of weapons — not just against our own people, but even against the terrorists that attack our civilians with their mortar rounds,” Mr Moallem said.

He reiterated the country’s contention that the deaths occurred when a Syrian air strike hit a rebel warehouse containing “toxic substances.”

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Source: News Corp Australia Network:

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