Speaker of the House Paul Ryan told reporters during a news conference Thursday that those responsible for the suspected chemical attack in Syria must be held responsible, and praised President Donald Trump’s response to the attack.
“Bashar Assad and his enablers in Tehran and Moscow have committed another mass atrocity on people in Syria,” Ryan said. “I think the U.S. has an obligation to lead an international response to hold people accountable for that.”
“(Trump) is taking a very deliberate and careful response and approach to this,” he continued. “We discussed this, and I don’t want to get ahead of what he plans on doing.”
Ryan then countered a reporter who argued that the president seems to be “dithering” about what should be done in Syria.
“I think you’re wrong to suggest that he’s dithering,” Ryan said. “He is being deliberate and he is going through all of the options and he’s consulting our allies.”
As reported by The Western Journal, President Trump has promised to retaliate “forcefully” against those responsible for the attack.
“We’re making a decision as to what we do with respect to the horrible attack that was made near Damascus, and it will be met and it will be met forcefully,” Trump said during a meeting with military leaders on Monday.
On Wednesday morning, Trump threatened Russia with a missile strike.
“Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria,” Trump tweeted. “Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’ You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”
Later, the president added to that warning, noting that he did not specify when an attack would take place.
“Never said when an attack on Syria would take place,” the president tweeted. “Could be very soon or not so soon at all!”
The government of Bashar al-Assad has denied using gas against its own people, as have the Russian government.
“The Syrian government and Russia have vehemently denied involvement in the attack and accused rebels in Douma of fabricating the chemical attack claims in order to hinder the army’s advances and provoke international military intervention,” CNN reported.
On Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president still wants to pull troops from Syria once ISIS is defeated there.
“The president wants to bring our troops home after we complete the mission to eradicate ISIS in Syria,” Sanders said.
“At the same time he wants to make sure Assad is deterred from chemical weapons attacks on innocent civilians. Signaling we want to remove our troops in no way degrades our ability to hold parties responsible.”
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