A confirmed chemical attack would pose a dilemma for President Trump, who has said he will hold President Bashar al-Assad of Syria accountable for the use of chemical weapons while also saying that he wants to reduce American military involvement in Syria.
After a chemical attack by the Syrian government killed dozens of people in the village of Khan Sheikhoun last April, Mr. Trump responded by ordering the firing of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the air base from which the attacks had originated.
“No child of God should ever suffer such horror,” Mr. Trump said at the time. “It is in the vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.”
But Mr. Trump did not follow those strikes with further military action against Mr. Assad, making it clear that the United States sought to punish Mr. Assad but not to topple him.
About 2,000 American soldiers are deployed in eastern Syria, working with local militias to fight the jihadists of the Islamic State. But Mr. Trump said last week that he would like to bring them home, too, although no timeline has been announced.Continue reading the main story
Source link : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/07/world/middleeast/syria-poison-gas.html
Publish date : 2018-04-07 23:53:03