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MARCH 2021

US Defense Secretary to Brief Trump on Options for Military Action in Syria

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US Defense Secretary James Mattis is going to brief US President Donald Trump on military options against Syria in connection with an alleged chemical attack in the Syrian town of Khan-Shaykhun.

US Defense Secretary to Brief Trump on Options for Military Action in Syria

US Defense Secretary James Mattis (Photo: AP)

US President Donald Trump will be briefed by US Defense Secretary James Mattis on military options against Syria, the CBS News TV-channel reported. According to the TV-channel, one of these military options is cruise missile strikes from US Navy ships. Reportedly, the meeting of the US President and the country’s Defense Secretary will take place in Florida.

Earlier, the CNN TV-channel reported citing its own unnamed sources that Trump told some members of the US Congress that he was considering a possibility of a military response to a chemical attack in the Syrian province Idlib. However, CNN ctressed that the US President still has not taken a decision.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Trump said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government have gone “beyond a red line” with their chemical attack “against innocent people including women, small children, and even beautiful little babies.” He also noted that “it is now my responsibility,” without indicating what actions he would consider. When the US President was asked whether he was formulating a new policy on Syria, he answered: “You’ll see.”

Also on Wednesday, US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley condemned the UN and threatened that the US could take its “own” action if the UN Security Council failed to act on the alleged chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun town in the Syrian province of Idlib.

“When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action,” Haley said. “For the sake of the victims, I hope the rest of the council is finally willing to do the same.”

On Thursday, Turkish Justice Minister announced that autopsy results on the victims of the attack had confirmed the fact of the chemical weapon usage in the alleged chemical attack in Khan-Shaykhun. Later, Turkish officials said that the attack had likely been carried out with the deadly nerve agent sarin.

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