USA concerned about triggering wider war as it weighs strike on Syria

Sergio Conner
April 14, 2018

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned such an attack carried the risk of spinning out of control, suggesting caution ahead of a decision on how to respond to an attack against civilians last weekend that US officials are increasingly certain involved the use of banned chemical weapons. In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS.

After May met with her Cabinet, a spokesperson issued a statement saying it is highly likely that Syria's President Bashar Assad was responsible for Saturday's attack that killed dozens outside Damascus.

Officials also said that the USA has compiled intelligence from the US and other countries, including images, that indicate the Syrian government was behind the weekend attack.

As Trump has talked about ordering a new military strike on Syria, the regime led by President Bashar Assad has been busy.

Late yesterday, Syria's United Nations ambassador Bashar Jaafari said that two groups of experts from the OPCW will arrive in Syria today to investigate allegations of chemical weapons use.

He adds ominously, "Hopefully someday we'll get along with Russian Federation, and maybe even Iran, but maybe not".

Trump says, "The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep".

Although Trump reportedly advocated for a broad military strike that would punish Syria, and to an extent, its allies Russian Federation and Iran, he is believed to have been met with resistance from Mattis and other military officials, who feared the White House lacked a broad strategy, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

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"We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents", Trump said.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement that she "authorized British armed forces to conduct co-ordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the Syrian Regime's chemical weapons capability and deter their use".

The president also said that "America does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria". "But the Middle East is a troubled place". "President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad", Trump said.

President Donald Trump is set to address the nation Friday night amid anticipation of a retaliatory strike for an apparent Syrian chemical weapon attack last week.

The U.S. Navy was moving an additional Tomahawk missile-armed ship within striking range of Syria as President Donald Trump and his national security aides mulled the scope and timing of an expected military assault in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack.

White House spokesman Raj Shah said Friday afternoon that Trump "is going to hold the Syrian government accountable".

The U.S. strike comes nearly exactly a year after a previous U.S. strike, which was also in response to the Syrian regime's alleged use of chemical weapons. About 2,000 USA military personnel are in Syria.

Russian Federation has variously said there was no chemical attack in Douma or that the US and its allies orchestrated it to undermine Assad.

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