14 April, 2018
"Clearly the Assad regime did not get the message past year", Mattis said, referring to the retaliatory US strike on a Syrian air field following a previous chemical weapons attack.
Nevertheless, there is a view among Trump's national security team that the President's tweets earlier this week - including one threatening USA missiles "will be coming, nice and new and "smart" " - forced their hand and made some type of strikes inevitable.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters earlier that the National Security Council would be meeting on Friday afternoon to discuss plans for responding to the incident in Syria. Now, Mattis said, Russian Federation is "complicit" in helping the regime retain them.
Alexander Sherin, deputy head of the State Duma's defense committee, said Mr. Trump "can be called Adolf Hitler No. 2 of our time - because, you see, he even chose the time that Hitler attacked the Soviet Union", according to state news agency RIA-Novosti.
"Once the President tweeted what he tweeted we have to go forward", one senior administration official said. In his tweet on Thursday, the president defended his warning a day earlier and appeared to try to reintroduce the element of surprise over a possible American missile strike, underscoring what critics have described as a confusing policy on United States involvement in Syria. "It is to drive this to a UN-brokered peace but, at the same time, keep our foot on the neck of Isis until we suffocate it".
He said that they were still trying to get Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons inspectors to Douma within the week to collect evidence.
Mattis said military planners made efforts to avoid civilian casualties.
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In the Baltics, uncertainty has clouded Trump's motives with regards to Russian Federation . And just about everybody agrees to that except very stupid people", Mr Trump said.
Syria and Russian Federation have both denied the accusations, and the global chemical watchdog said it would deploy a team to investigate.
Syrian opposition media reports last week of an attack by government forces involving chemical weapons prompted the U.S. and its allies to blame Damascus and begin preparations for a possible military response.
"Clearly, the Assad regime did not get the message past year".
James Mattis also urged the world community to act together with a singular resolve to prevent any country from using chemical weapons in future.
"We selected targets that would minimize the risk to innocent civilians", Dunford said.
General Dunford will provide a military update. It was not immediately clear whether Trump meant the allied military operation would extend beyond an initial nighttime round of missile strikes. "We know how much we have to work with". He said the USA has "a lot of media and social media indicators that either chlorine or sarin were used".
Russian lawmakers have warned the United States that Moscow would view an airstrike on Syria as a war crime and that it could trigger a direct US-Russian military clash. "We do need to get the budget under control".