President Donald Trump is reportedly considering engaging in military action in Syria in response to Tuesday’s chemical attack.
Trump reportedly told some members of Congress that military action is a real possibility, according to CNN’s Dana Bash. Trump did not detail any potential military in his statements Wednesday.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is suspected of engaging in a chemical attack against his own people, leaving approximately 72 dead and potentially hundreds more injured. The strike targeted Khan Shaykhun, a rebel-controlled town in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province.
Trump responded to the attack Tuesday, telling reporters it “crossed a lot of lines for me” and that it “went beyond a red line.”
“Yesterday’s chemical attack, a chemical attack so horrific in Syria against innocent people, including women, small children and even beautiful little babies, their deaths were an affront to humanity,” said Trump, while speaking in the White House Rose Garden along with Jordan’d King Abdullah.
“These heinous actions by the Assad regime cannot be tolerated,” Trump added. “The United States stands with our allies across the globe to condemn this horrific attack and all other horrific attacks, for that matter.”
The statements appeared to represent a change in Trump’s policy, given the president considered Assad a potential “natural ally” in the fight against terrorism in November. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the administration’s priority is “no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out,” while visiting Turkey on March 30, less than a week before the chemical attack.
U.S. military operation in Iraq are currently limited to a group of approximately 500 special forces operators and an air campaign targeting the Islamic State. The U.S. is not currently engaged in combat operations against the Assad regime.
Trump did not outline any specific changes in his statements Wednesday.
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