Washington: US President Donald Trump said that he won’t let Syrian President Bashar al-Assad get away with the “horrible” actions he has done, the media reported.
“I am not a fan of Assad. I certainly think what he has done to that country and to humanity is horrible,” Xinhua news agency quoted Trump as saying at a joint press conference with visiting Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Tuesday.
“I have been saying that for a long time. I am not somebody that will stand by and let him get away with what he tried to do,” Trump warned. In April, Trump ordered the US military to launch 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles against a Syrian airbase in response to alleged chemical attack launched by the Syrian government forces. It was the first direct US assault on the Syrian army since Syrian crisis began six years ago.
In June, the White House said the US had identified the Syrian government’s potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack, warning of “a heavy price” if such attacks are conducted. In response, Syria denied the US claim of Damascus’ intention to use chemical weapons, slamming it as baseless. On Tuesday, Trump also renewed the attack on his predecessor Barack Obama for not taking more decisive actions against Assad.
Obama should have crossed the red line he had drawn in regard to Assad’s actions, Trump said, adding that “some horrible acts against humanity took place, including gas and the killing through gases”. Trump’s comments on Assad came days after reports that he had decided to halt the CIA’s covert program to equip and train certain rebel groups fighting Assad’s forces. The covert program that began in 2013 was designed as part of efforts by Obama to overthrow Assad, but it produced little success. Analysts said Trump’s decision indicated his administration’s diminishing desire to force Assad to step down.