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Use of chemical weapons in Syria 'simply inexcusable': Mattis

14 Avril 2018

Earlier today, President Donald Trump had approved United States military strikes against Syrian chemical weapons sites, in collaboration with the UK and France.

His comments came before he went to the White House Wednesday afternoon for a meeting on Syria.

Trump says he has requested US companions "to take greater responsibility for securing their dwelling space, along with contributing large portions of money for the belongings, instruments and all the anti-ISIS effort".

Mattis noted that past year, USA forces conducted a "unilateral strike on a single site", whereas he said these strikes "will result in a long term degradation to the Syrians' capability to research, develop, and employ biological and chemical weapons". Jim Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, said the United States should "go over and bomb".

On Friday at 9 p.m. EDT, military forces from the US, UK, and France launched a military campaign in Syria, targeting the country's research facilities that were believed to have been involved in the development of chemical weapons.

President Emmanuel Macron of France cited unspecified proof that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons in a deadly attack on a suburb of Damascus, the capital.

Later, he told reporters a decision will "be made fairly soon". The Journal also said Mattis wanted "a more limited action that wouldn't risk a wider confrontation with Russian forces".

Use of chemical weapons in Syria 'simply inexcusable': Mattis
Use of chemical weapons in Syria 'simply inexcusable': Mattis

Friday's strikes appear to signal Trump's willingness to draw the United States more deeply into the Syrian conflict.

The Trump administration in last year's strike on the Syrian airbase - which was used to store Russian aircraft - notified Moscow of the target beforehand.

"It is very risky time", he said, pointing out that Trump's war of words with North Korea was the first time since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 that a USA president has threatened military action against another nuclear-armed state. "So the recognition of that means at times you are going to see contrary impulses", Mattis told lawmakers. "We're trying to get inspectors in, probably within a week". The strikes were in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack in Douma, near Damascus.

Mattis is asking that "accountable nations" participate condemning the Assad regime.

"We have made steady progress over the last 14 months", Mattis said in opening remarks before the House committee.

A team of experts from the global chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, was travelling to Syria and will start its investigations into the Douma incident on Saturday, the Netherlands-based agency said. His request changed hours later after a National Security Council meeting, and the president chose to keep America's 2,000 troops in Syria with the goal of bringing them home within a few months.

The allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were eager on Friday to lay blame for the crisis not with him but with Trump. It was not clear whether the presence of the investigators could affect the timing of any USA military action.

Use of chemical weapons in Syria 'simply inexcusable': Mattis