US, Russia trade claims about who used chem weapons in Syria

In August 2012, former US president Barack Obama warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that the use of chemical or biological weapons in Syria was a "red line" that should not be crossed.

The Trump administration stood by its charge that Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces were responsible.

He acknowledged that now "I have that responsibility and I will carry it proudly".

The entire Syria issue is now Donald Trump's responsibility, and the words and rhetoric of Trump and his team may have major worldwide consequences.

Kaszeta says he thinks the most likely source of chemical was the Syrian regime.

At a Rose Garden news conference, Trump accused the Assad government of being behind the "horrific" attack that targeted "women, small children, and even lovely little babies".

Kaine said, "First, this administration has to bluntly, vigorously, continuously call out the atrocities of Bashar al-Assad, which are helped in immeasurable ways by the Russians and the Iranians". Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also blamed the Syrian government for the attack.

"The need for humanitarian aid and the protection of Syrian civilians has never been greater".

Russian Federation has already suggested it would publicly stand by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It's one of the worst attacks in the country's six-year civil war.

Medicins Sans Frontieres said eight people it treated had symptoms consistent with nerve agents like sarin.

The senator says the attack "was a moment the president could have spoken with moral authority and with the beginning of an outline of a strategy".

"We will see more conflict in Syria".

Casey and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY say Trump is being undermined by the cloud of an ongoing investigation into possible Russian interference in the election. The attack came a week after Trump's Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and United Nations envoy Nikki Haley said their focus was on defeating Islamic State in Syria rather than pushing out Assad. But he pointedly refused to say what action the USA might take in response.

"You will see", Trump said when asked if he would take new action, according to pool reporters present when Trump welcomed Jordan's King Abdullah to the Oval Office.

World leaders expressed shock and outrage Tuesday at reports of the suspected targeted attack in northwestern Syria that killed scores of civilians, with one United Kingdom official suggesting the incident amounted to a war crime.

Trump will also speak with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hours, hours after North Korea fired a newly developed powerful ballistic missile into its eastern waters Wednesday. The draft also calls for meetings with Syrian generals or other officers.

"President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a "red line" against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing".

Ivanka Trump, a top adviser to the president, tweeted Wednesday that she is "Heartbroken and outraged by the images coming out of Syria following the atrocious chemical attack yesterday". She released statements condemning attacks that Assad and his allies perpetuated against civilians, but it did not stop the violence.

The White House has not said how the Trump administration intends to respond to the crisis in Syria. They noted that US presidents have rarely attacked their predecessors so aggressively for events like chemical weapons attacks that Democrats and Republicans both abhor.

President Assad denied the charge, blaming rebel fighters, but he did subsequently agree to destroy Syria's chemical arsenal.

Assad had agreed in 2013 to give up his chemical arsenal under a deal brokered by Russian Federation and the United States.

Only days earlier multiple members of Trump's administration had said Assad's ouster was no longer a USA priority, drawing outrage from Assad critics in the US and overseas.

But Twitter reminded Power of her inaction as the ambassador to the United Nations when it came to the Syrian civil war. Neither Russia, Turkey nor Iran served as a co-chair of the meeting, nor did their representatives attend a news conference at the event on Wednesday afternoon.

  • Leroy Wright