Trump Slams Putin, Iran for Backing "Animal Assad" Amid Chemical Attack Claims
15:58 08.04.2018(updated 17:46 08.04.2018)
One of President Donald Trump's top homeland security advisers has said that the US will not rule out launching a missile attack in response to news reports about a chemical attack on a rebel-held town in Eastern Ghouta, Syria.
US President Donald Trump has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin, Moscow and Tehran of backing Syrian President Bashar Assad in light of the reports about the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Arab Republic, adding that Damascus would pay a "big price."
Trump has referred to the alleged "mindless" chemical attack as a "humanitarian disaster for no reason."
"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!" Donald Trump wrote on Twitter.
The Syrian government may have again used chemical weapons on people, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert stated.
"Reports from a number of contacts and medical personnel on the ground indicate a potentially high number of casualties, including among families hiding in shelters. These reports, if confirmed, are horrifying and demand an immediate response by the international community," Nauert said in a release.
Separately, White House Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Adviser Thomas Bossert said in an interview on ABC's "This Week" that he wouldn't "take anything off the table" with regard to Syria, adding that the photos of the alleged incident were "horrible."
Trump's National Security team will consider the possible plans of actions in relation to the chemical attack messages in Syria, Steven Mnuchin said.
The United Nations also commented on the situation, saying that the alleged use of chemical weapons if true is "abhorrent" and requires "thorough investigation."
The statements come just hours after the Russian Foreign Ministry had warned of the possible provocations involving the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Earlier in the day, the Russian Defense Ministry strongly refuted the allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, which had been spread by NGOs, including the infamous White Helmets, who've been suspected of supporting jihadists.
The major aim of the US is to accuse the Syrian government forces of using chemical weapons and justify possible military intervention in Syria from abroad, according to the ministry.
The Syrian government, for its part, has also denied allegations of having used chemical weapons in the city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta, saying it doesn't need such measures to stop the terrorists.
Last month, Damascus announced that several foreign experts were operating to stage a chemical attack, which would be carried out with the help of the infamous White Helmets and would be covered by mainstream media. The same warning was issued by the Russian Center for Syria reconciliation in January.
Following the allegations concerning the use of chemical weapons by Damascus spread by Syrian rebels last year, in the early hours of April 7, 2017, the United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian military airfield in Ash Sha'irat, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the city of Homs. US President Donald Trump said the attack was a response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria's Idlib, which Washington blames on the Damascus authorities.
Damascus slammed that move, calling it "aggression," while Moscow noted at the time that there was no evidence, proving Damascus' role in the alleged chemical attack and had demanded a thorough probe into the incident.
Commenting on the accusations against the Syrian government, Russia has multiple times reiterated its position that all chemical weapons had been taken out of Syria in mid-2014 with Washington's assistance and called for a thorough probe into the Khan Sheikhoun events.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|