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Trump Admin on Retaliation Against Syria: Nothing's Off the Table

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As President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that there would be a “big price to pay” for Saturday’s chemical attack in Syria, one adviser warned that the U.S. had many options to consider as it develops its response.

“I wouldn’t take anything off the table,” White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Last April, Trump launched a missile strike after Syria used chemical weapons against a rebel-held village.

“We’ve seen the photos of that attack. I think — I mean, first, I would note the timing of this, it’s the first thing that struck me, this is the one year anniversary of our action the last time they made the mistake of using these weapons and pushing the rest of the world,” Bossert said.

“This isn’t just the United States, this is one of those issues on which every nation, all peoples have all agreed and have agreed since World War II, is an unacceptable practice,” he said, calling images of dead children from the village of Douma “horrible photos.”

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Trump tweeted his outrage at the attack, which left at least 42 people dead.

“Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay. Open area immediately for medical help and verification. Another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. SICK!” he tweeted.

Trump also noted that the Syrian crisis was kicked down the road by his predecessor.

“If President Obama had crossed his stated Red Line In The Sand, the Syrian disaster would have ended long ago! Animal Assad would have been history!” Trump tweeted.

Should the U.S. respond with force to the chemical weapons attack in Syria?

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called upon Trump to follow the tough talk of his tweet with firm action.

” … it’s a defining moment in his presidency, because he has challenged Assad in the past not to use chemical weapons,” Graham said during his appearance on “This Week.”

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“We had a one-and-done missile attack. So Assad is at it again,” he added. “They see us, our resolve, breaking. They see our determination to stay in Syria waning. And it’s no accident they used chemical weapons.

“But President Trump can reset the table here. To me, I would destroy Assad’s air force. I would create safe zones in Syria where people can come back to their country from the surrounding area and live a better life. Train up Syrians to take on Assad so we can negotiate in Geneva from a position of strength,” Graham said.

Graham said the president’s response would be watched by others around the world.

“If it becomes a tweet without meaning, then he has hurt himself in North Korea,” Graham said. “If he doesn’t follow through and live up to that tweet, he’s going to look weak in the eyes of Russia and Iran. So this is a defining moment, Mr. President. You need to follow through with that tweet. Show a resolve that Obama never did to get this right.”

Syria and its supporters denied that Assad’s government was responsible for the chemical weapons attack, according to The Washington Post.

“Such allegations and accusations by the Americans and certain Western countries signal a new conspiracy against the Syrian government and people, and a pretext for military action,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The State Department, however, left no room for doubt where it places the blame, The New York Times reported.

“The Assad regime and its backers must be held accountable, and any further attacks prevented immediately,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

“The United States calls on Russia to end this unmitigated support immediately and work with the international community to prevent further, barbaric chemical weapons attacks,” Nauert said.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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