President Trump on Sunday vowed in a tweet that there would be a “big price to pay” for the reported chemical attack that killed dozens of people in a rebel-held enclave in Syria, leading international condemnation of the incident from democracies and authoritarian regimes alike.
Nearly three weeks after ordering a cruise missile attack against one of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s airfields, Donald Trump has yet to explain how that was legal without congressional authorization. Two Democratic members of Congress are demanding that Trump offer some sort of legal justification beyond off-the-cuff remarks from administration officials.
Analysis of the Times and Locations of Critical Events in the Alleged Nerve Agent Attack at 7 AM on April 4, 2017 in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria. Analysis using weather data from the time of the attack shows that a small hamlet about 300 m to the east southeast of the crater could be the only location affected by the alleged nerve agent release. The hamlet is separated from the alleged release site (a crater) by an open field. The winds at the time of the release would have initially taken the sarin across the open field. Beyond the hamlet there is a substantial amount of open space and the sarin cloud would have had to travel long additional distance for it to have dissipated before reaching any other population center.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said a suspected chemical weapons attack was a "fabrication" to justify a US military strike, AFP news agency reported. In his first interview since the April 4 incident prompted a US cruise missile attack on Syrian forces, Assad insisted his army gave up all of its chemical weapons three years ago and that Syrian military power was not affected by the US strike.
President Trump said on Wednesday that Russia likely knew of the Syrian government’s plan to gas its own people in advance of a chemical weapons attack last week in northwestern Syria, asserting that United States relations with Moscow were at an “all-time low.”
Progressive activists say they’re dismayed that senior congressional Democrats aren’t more strongly condemning President Donald Trump’s strikes against Syria on Thursday night. Some Democrats in Congress dinged Trump on the process — not seeking congressional approval — but largely supported the action itself. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called punishing Syria’s Bashar al-Assad “the right thing to do,” and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) labeled the strikes a “proportional response.” Pelosi has also called for the House to end its recess and reconvene to discuss the attacks.
President Trump said Thursday night that the United States had carried out a missile strike in Syria on Thursday night in response to the Syrian government’s chemical weapons attack this week that killed more than 80 civilians. A senior military official said that 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles had hit Al Shayrat airfield in Syria. The missiles were aimed at Syrian fighter jets and other infrastructure but did not target anything that may have had chemical weapons.
The diplomatic situation had been looking bright for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. With the help of Russia, he had consolidated his power, the rebels were on their heels and the United States had just declared that ousting him was not a priority. Dr. Monzer Khalil, the health director for Idlib Province, said such extreme tactics are designed to demonstrate the government’s impunity and to demoralize its opponents.