American President Donald Trump has said he will soon make a decision, “probably by the end of today”, on how the US will respond to the latest alleged chemical attack by the Syrian government, adding that ”nothing is off the table” in terms of military action.
He condemned the reported poison gas attack in Douma, a rebel-held town in Syria, and said he was talking to military leaders and would decide who was responsible.
“I’d like to begin by condemning the heinous attack on innocent Syrians with banned chemical weapons,” the president said at a cabinet meeting. “This is about humanity and it can’t be allowed to happen. If it’s the Russians, if it’s Syria, if it’s Iran, if it’s all of them together, we’ll figure it out.”
Dozens of civilians are believed to have died in the suspected poison gas attack over the weekend. UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, and his Russian backers, must be “held to account” for the “barbaric” action if they are found to be responsible.
Earlier in the day, Defence Secretary James Mattis said the US had not ruled out launching airstrikes against the Syrian government.
“I don’t rule out anything right now,” Mr Mattis said while hosting Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the emir of Qatar, at the Pentagon.