Russian Federation 'complicit' in Syrian regime's retention of chemical weapons: Mattis

Michele Moreno
April 13, 2018

US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said on Wednesday that work to assess the intelligence on the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria's Douma is still in progress. "So they'll be made fairly soon".

The president of France said flatly that "we have proof that last week chemical weapons, at least chlorine, were used by the regime of Bashar al-Assad".

Last week, Trump said he wanted to pull out of the war-torn nation, but this week he has taunted Assad ally Russian Federation with boasts of an impending missile strike. "We're trying to stop the murder of innocent people, but on a strategic level it's how do we keep this from escalating out of control, if, if you get my drift on that".

"There will be notification to leadership, of course, prior to the attack". "We are not going to engage in the civil war itself".

"Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria", Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

He cautioned that even if the inspectors get access to the attack sites, they are not permitted under their mandate to assign blame, but only to determine that chemical agents were used.

"This is about humanity and it can't be allowed to happen", Trump was quoted as saying by a White House report.

Mattis said he would leave after the hearing to attend an afternoon meeting of the president's National Security Council, where he and other advisors "will take forward the various options to the president". That was a marked change from Monday when a decision seemed imminent.

Donald Trump said at a Cabinet meeting that "major decisions on Syria" will come in the next 24 to 48 hours after he figures out who was responsible for the alleged attack in Douma - Russia, or Syria, or Iran, or "all of them together".

Lawmakers quizzed Mattis on what he made of President Donald Trump's muddled messaging over Syria.

"The use of chemical weapons in Syria is not something we should assume: Well, because he didn't use them on us this time, he wouldn't use them on us next time", said Mattis, who also promised to have the Pentagon's lawyers provide Congress with a formal reply. "The President will speak with President Macron and Prime Minister May this evening", said press secretary Sarah Huckabeee Sanders.

Other reports by Insurance News

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