President Trump held a joint press conference in the Rose Garden on Wednesday with Jordan’s visiting King Abdullah II to strongly condemn the deadly chemical weapons strike in Syria, calling the attack “horrific.”
Blaming the Assad regime for the strike, which killed 58 people, including several children, Trump said such an attack “cannot be tolerated.” This came minutes after Trump’s U.N. envoy hinted at the possibility of unilateral action, according to a report on Fox News.
“These heinous actions by the Assad regime cannot be tolerated,” Trump said. “The United States stands with our allies across the globe to condemn this horrific attack.”
Trump did not give specific plans, but said that his “attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much,” noting that this attack “had a big impact on me.”
Trump recalled the Obama administration’s “blank threat” towards the Assad regime after Obama drew a “red line” against their use of chemical weapons.
Trump said that this attack “crossed a lot of lines for me … That crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line.”
Standing next to Abdullah, Trump also vowed, “We will destroy ISIS and we will protect civilization. We have no choice.” He added that, along with Jordan, the U.S. will “combat the evil and ideology that inspires ISIS and plagues our planet.”
In acknowledgement of “the vital role that Jordan has played in hosting refugees from the conflict in Syria,” Trump announced that the U.S. will provide additional aid to Jordan for humanitarian assistance.
Abdullah said the “threshold of inhumanity and savagery” is being crossed every day and he fully supports Trump on the issue.
The Assad regime denies that it conducted the attack, and Russia says anti-Assad rebels are to blame. According to new reports, “Russia’s military says the chemicals were dispersed when Syrian warplanes bombed a facility where rebels were building chemical weapons.”
Trump’s envoy at the United Nations promised unilateral U.S. action if the world body does nothing.
“When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action,” said Ambassador Nikki Haley. Haley is working with the UN Security Council in considering a resolution condemning chemical weapons use in Syria. Russia, which has veto power, is opposed.
Officials said that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is planning to discuss Syria with Russian leaders next week when he visits Moscow. This is the first announced visit by a top U.S. official to Russia since President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
H/T: Fox News
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