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This week’s chemical attack on civilians has changed President Trump’s attitude toward the intractable civil war in Syria. At a Rose Garden press conference with King Abdullah of Jordan, Trump condemned the attack and the brutality of Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
“It’s very, very possible, and I will tell you it has already happened, that my attitude toward Syria and Assad, has changed very much,” Mr. Trump said. “I think the Obama administration had a great opportunity to solve this crisis. When he didn’t cross that line, after making the threat, I think that set us back a long ways. It was a blank threat.”
When a reporter asked if Assad’s apparent use of WMDs crossed a “red line,” Trump said it did. “When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, little babies, with a chemical gas that is so lethal — people were shocked to hear what gas it was — that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line, many, many lines,” he said.
The President didn’t announce any specific action against Assad, but the administration’s tough talk is spreading.
Wednesday at the UN, Amb. Nikki Haley blamed Russia for blocking a strong response to the chemical weapons attack. “Time and time again Russia uses the same false narrative to deflect attention from their allies in Damascus,” she said at an emergency session. “How many more children have to die before Russia cares?”
“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,” Haley warned in her closing remarks. “For the sake of the victims, I hope the rest of the council is finally willing to do the same.”
Trump strongly opposed military intervention in Syria while he was a private citizen. Now that he sits behind the Resolute desk, is he changing his mind?Published in