Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Trump has not laid out timetable for Syria attack response - White House

Trump has not laid out timetable for Syria attack response - White House

President Donald Trump on Friday night announced he has directed the US military to conduct precision strikes in Syria, after the chemical weapons attack that left dozens dead on Sunday.

Trump, who earlier this month expressed his interest in pulling USA troops out of Syria, said that the alleged chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma is leaving the United States with "little choice but to respond".

On Saturday, several Syrian opposition online news portals reported - citing militants - that the Syrian government forces used chlorine in the city of Duma and killed up to 70 people.

"I will salute anything (that) comes from President Trump on this action and I hope it will lead to some kind of significant changes on the ground", said Mahmoud Barazi, a Syrian-American physician living in Houston. "We stand ready to provide military options", he said, offering a carefully worded qualifier, "if they are appropriate as the president determined".

Downing Street said May's top ministers had agreed on the "need to take action", despite polls showing the British public remains wary of military intervention.

Moscow has warned against any escalation that could trigger a conflict between the United States and Russian Federation, and has called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting on Friday.

Mattis' remarks at a House Armed Services Committee hearing followed a series of Trump tweets this week that initially indicated he was committed to bombing Syria but later suggested he was awaiting further advice and assessment.

Whatever you think of the Trump administration, that's an astonishing paragraph.

She defended that Trump's tweet didn't give any plans away, adding that the president is still deciding on a timetable and repeating that he's leaving a number of options on the table. But Mr. Trump insisted Friday night the US does not intend to have a permanent presence in Syria.

Rep. Adam Smith, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said he sees no legal justification for a USA strike in Syria, absent explicit authorization by Congress.

"Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria".

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