Mattis says USA strikes directed at Assad regime

14 April, 2018, 22:16 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • Trump Says Attack on Syria 'Could Be Very Soon or Not So Soon at All'

Mattis said a decision had not been made about whether or how to strike Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, which is accused of launching a chemical attack that killed dozens of people last weekend.

Trump in meetings with Mattis has pushed for an attack that would also hurt Russian Federation and Iran in addition to the Syrian government in response to an alleged chemical attack in Duma, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

"The United States has a vital interest to defend our interests and in specifically deterring the use and proliferation of chemical weapons", Mattis said in a news conference after the strikes were completed.

"I believe there was a chemical attack", Mattis said, in a wide-ranging hearing that was originally scheduled for members to discuss the Pentagon's 2019 budget request. The strikes were in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack in Douma, near Damascus.

Mattis is asking that "responsible nations" join in condemning the Assad regime.

Mattis put the onus for verification on an Organization on a Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) fact-finding team assigned to investigate, saying Washington is trying to get them to the site outside of Damascus within the week.

"We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents", Trump said. The decision to strike, after days of deliberations, marked Trump's second order to attack Syria; he authorized a barrage of Tomahawk cruise missiles to hit a single Syrian airfield in April 2017 in retaliation for Assad's use of sarin gas against civilians.

The latest development in Washington is after the British media report that UK Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet agreed "on the need to take action" in Syria.

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Russian Ambassador to the U.N. Vassily Nebenzia told the Security Council on Wednesday that the current threats against Russia exceed any historic precedent, "even during the Cold War".

Earlier Thursday, Trump appeared to walk back earlier comments in which he warned Russian Federation to brace for missiles which he said "will be coming". The first target was a scientific research center located in the greater Damascus area.

James Mattis also urged the world community to act together with a singular resolve to prevent any country from using chemical weapons in future.

With respect to retaliation, Gen. Dunford said he was unaware of any United States troop losses, and could neither confirm or deny Syrian reports of missiles being shot down.

The United States, France and Britain are finalizing plans for an expected strike against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Sanders indicated the U.S. has "very high confidence that Syria was responsible and Russian Federation also". "Absolutely confident. We have the intelligence level and confidence that we needed to conduct the attack", he said.

He adds that, "America does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria - under no circumstances" and says that, "As other nations step up our contributions, we look forward to the day when we can bring our warriors home".

"Important infrastructure was destroyed which will result in a setback for the Syrian regime", Dunford said.

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