President Trump, minced no words on Monday as he said, the United States is pondering its options for a military strike against the rogue regime of President Assad in Syria. After Syrian forces gassed their own civilians in the city of Douma, Trump vowed that any country involved in the attack will “pay a price.”
As he began a Monday evening meeting with military leaders at the White House, Trump promised to “make a decision tonight or very shortly thereafter.” He said: “We have a lot of options militarily, and we’ll be letting you know pretty soon. Probably after the fact.”
The White House sharply rejected any suggestion that Trump’s own words about pulling U.S. troops out of Syria had opened the door for the attack, which killed more than 40 people, including children.
Trump, asked at midday whether Russian President Vladimir Putin bore any responsibility for the weekend attack, responded: “He may, yeah, he may. And if he does it’s going to be very tough, very tough.” He added: “Everybody’s gonna pay a price. He will. Everybody will.”
Then, during the meeting with top military leaders, he said the weekend assault “will be met and it will be met forcefully.” Those at the meeting included Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford.
Amid the tough talk at the White House, the U.S. military appeared to be in position to carry out any attack order. A Navy destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, was underway in the eastern Mediterranean after completing a port call in Cyprus. The guided missile destroyer is armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, the weapon of choice in a U.S. attack one year ago on an airfield in Syria following an alleged sarin gas attack on civilians.
As the U.S. ponders its next move, tensions are getting higher between the U.S. and Russia, the highest since the days of the Cold War. President Trump reiterated that no stone will remain unturned. “If it’s Russia, if it’s Syria, if it’s Iran, if it’s all of them together, we’ll figure it out.”
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