On April 11, the White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that US President Donald Trump believes that Russia and the Damascus government should be held accountable for the alleged chemical attack in the Syrian are aof Douma, which took place on April 7.
According to Sanders, Russia is partially responsible for “chemical attack” because Moscow had allegedly guaranteed that it will prevent any use of chemical weapons in Syria.
“The president holds Russia and Syria responsible for this chemical weapons attack … They [Russia] guaranteed that the use of chemical weapons by Syria would not happen again. They failed at that,” the Russian news outlet Sputnik quoted Sanders as saying during a press briefing in the White House.
Sanders also revealed that Trump didn’t make a final decision on how the US will be responding to the alleged chemical attack yet.
“We have a number of options and all of those options are still on the table. Final decisions haven’t been made yet on that front,” Sanders said.
When she was asked to comment on Russia’s assertion that the alleged chemical attack was staged by the White Helmets organization, Sanders claimed that the US intelligence reports do not support this accusation.
Furthermore, Sanders revealed that the US does not rule out strikes on Russian forces in Syria:
“Once again, all options are on the table, and I don’t have any further announcements about,” she said answering to a question about President Trump’s April 11 tweet threatening Russia and Syria.
In a related development, US news outlet reported that US Army Central Command (CENTCOM) commander, General Joe Votel has cancelled a scheduled public appearance in New York state on April 12.
Sanders’ statements and Gen. Votel’s decision suggest that Trumps may be only hours away from approving a military action against the pro-government forces in Syria.