Apr 06, 2017

US warns of 'own action' after Syria chemical massacre

US warns of 'own action' after Syria chemical massacre

The US, Russia were on a collision course over Syria after a horrific chemical attack so shocked President Donald Trump that Washington threatened unilateral US action. At least 86 people were killed early on Tuesday in rebel-held Khan Sheikhun in northern Syria and dozens more are being treated after they were found convulsing and foaming at the mouth. After previous major chemical attacks in Syria in 2013, Trump strongly urged then president Barack Obama not to order military intervention against Bashar al-Assad's regime. And he came to office promising both to improve ties with Assad's ally President Vladimir Putin of Russia and to focus US efforts in Syria solely on the defeat of the Islamic State group. But on Wednesday -- as footage emerged of Syrian children choking to death in agony -- he declared that his view of the conflict had been changed by an attack that "cannot be tolerated". "It crossed a lot of lines for me," Trump told reporters at a joint White House news conference with Jordan's King Abdullah, alluding to Obama's failure to enforce his own 2013 "red line."

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