Mattis: US 'Looking for Evidence' of Syria Chemical Attack


Fears of confrontation between Russian Federation and the West have been running high since U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that missiles "will be coming" after the suspected chemical weapons assault in the town of Douma on April 7, and lambasted Moscow for standing by Assad. The Syrian government has repeatedly denied any use of banned weapons. They blame Damascus for the alleged chemical attack on the town of Douma in the devastated Eastern Ghouta suburb of the capital. That strike was in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed 80 civilians.

Shortly after the attack, President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to a "strong, joint response" if it was found the attack believed to be made by Assad's regime used a chemical weapon.

Biological samples from the area of the alleged chemical attack have tested positive for chlorine and a sarin-like nerve agent, according to a U.S. official familiar with the United States analysis of the test results.

"Should he decide to use more chemical weapons in the future and of course, the powers that have signed the chemical weapons prohibition have every reason to challenge Assad if should he choose to violate that", Mattis said. Jim Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, said the U.S. should "go over and bomb".

The White House said on Thursday (Friday NZT), that Trump would consult further with allies.

US officials say blood samples provided by medical workers confirm the presence of chemicals but do not tell which side used them - the regime or, as the Russians have claimed, rebels seeking to overthrow the regime.

He said "We're looking very seriously at that situation".

"We are trying to stop the murder of innocent people, how do we keep this from escalating out of control", he told Tsongas.

Earlier today, President Donald Trump had approved U.S. military strikes against Syrian chemical weapons sites, in collaboration with the United Kingdom and France.

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Mattis said the United States has yet to confirm details of the attack through global investigators. In conducting these strikes, we have gone to great lengths to avoid civilian and foreign casualties.

The allied operation comes a year after the USA missile strike that Trump said was meant to deter Assad from further use of chemical weapons.

But Trump says America does not seek "an indefinite presence" in Syria and will look to pull out its troops once the Islamic State is totally defeated.

Syria and Russian Federation have both denied the accusations, and the global chemical weapons watchdog said its team would begin its investigation on Saturday.

That's primarily based on a provide acquainted with the president's plans, who was not accepted to speak publicly.

Trump huddled with his national security team for roughly 90 minutes Thursday, but the White House said soon after the meeting ended that no final decisions had been made. "He's moreover going to hold the Russians and the Iranians who're propping up this regime accountable". The next Syrian attack - strike three - will likely produce a large-scale US response.

On Wednesday, even though Trump had previously said he would not "broadcast" his moves in Syria, he said in a post on Twitter that missiles "will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'"

The presence of Russian troops and air defenses in Syria had been amongst fairly just a few points weighing on Trump, who ought to moreover consider the hazards to roughly 2,000 American troops inside the nation if Russia had been to retaliate for USA strikes.