- At Sea
- Contact Us
WHITE HOUSE — President Donald Trump insists he “never said when an attack on Syria would take place” in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack, tweeting that “it could be very soon or not so soon at all.”
A day after warning that “missiles will be coming” to Syria, Trump also said Wednesday “the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region” of Islamic State.
Officials and analysts in Washington say a robust, U.S.-led retaliatory military response is expected within days.
“Just because he does one thing doesn’t mean he can’t do a number of other actions as well,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Wednesday afternoon, repeatedly stating that “all options are on the table.”
After Russia’s ambassador to Lebanon said this week Russian forces would shoot down any missiles fired at Syria, Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that the Russians should be ready, “because they will be coming.”
U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis was at the White House on Wednesday as Vice President Mike Pence convened the president’s national security team for a meeting to contemplate the latest use of force against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Mattis, earlier in the day, said while intelligence about the attack in Syria is still being assessed, “we stand ready to provide military options if they’re appropriate as the president determined.”
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to convene an emergency Cabinet meeting Thursday to discuss what role Britain will play in any response to the situation in Syrian.
The Kremlin has called on all parties involved in Syria to refrain from actions that could destabilize the region.
Syrian rebels claim government forces dropped barrel bombs containing poisonous chemicals on civilians in Douma.
Russia’s military announced on Thursday that the Syrian government is now in full control of the area.
Asked if Russia is now regarded as an enemy, Huckabee Sanders demurred, saying “we certainly think they’ve proven to be a bad actor,” noting Moscow had “guaranteed that the use of chemical weapons by Syria would not happen again. They failed at that.”More than 2,000 U.S. troops are in Syria, where a U.S.-led coalition has launched thousands of airstrikes — mostly on Islamic State and other extremists.
The USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, with about 6,500 sailors, departed Norfolk in Virginia on Wednesday for what the U.S. navy termed a routine deployment to Europe and the Middle East. A U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer, the Donald Cook, departed Cyprus on Monday in the Mediterranean Sea.
The Cook and the USS Porter, on April 7 last year, together launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the Mediterranean at Syria’s Shayrat airbase in response to a chemical attack three days prior that killed at least 74 people and sickened hundreds.
The Porter is also in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations, which includes the Mediterranean.
Last year’s attack ordered by Trump “was neither operationally nor strategically successful,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Edward Markey said on Wednesday.
The Massachusetts Democrat said that while Assad’s barbaric use of chemical weapons must never again occur, Trump “must come to Congress for authorization” prior to another military operation against Syria.
“Obviously the administration will follow whatever laws and regulations are necessary for any actions that we take,” Huckabee Sanders said in response to a question on this from VOA. “Because we haven’t laid out any specific actions that we plan to take I can’t tell you exactly what needs we would have to go to Congress with.”
Analysts predict Trump’s response will be heftier than his April 2017 missile strike.
“Nonetheless, however big the strike package or alliance, it is unlikely to significantly affect Assad’s calculus,” Tobias Schneider, a research fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin, told VOA
© 2018, ↑ Alaska Native News
Log in- Posts - Add New - JUNEAU – Three legislative hearings over the past days for House Bill 199, “The Wild Salmon Legacy Act,” sponsored by...
Read previous article:Close
JUNEAU – Three legislative hearings over the past days for House Bill 199, “The Wild Salmon Legacy Act,” sponsored by...