Russian Federation 'complicit' in Syrian regime's retention of chemical weapons: Mattis

Russian Federation 'complicit' in Syrian regime's retention of chemical weapons: Mattis

Russian Federation 'complicit' in Syrian regime's retention of chemical weapons: Mattis

As for whether or not the USA military is ready for action in Syria, he said: "We stand ready to provide military options if they're appropriate, as the President determines".

Moreover, Syria does not have any chemicals weapons including chlorine that was allegedly used over the weekend in Douma, Syrian Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar Jaafari said in a Security Council meeting.

That boast came about a day after Trump tweeted for Russian Federation to "get ready", because USA missiles "will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'" Officials later said no decisions on a Syria strike had been made when the commander in chief tweeted that.

Warning that he was concerned that a U.S. strike might lead to an "out of control" escalation in the Syrian war, Mattis said that Washington was "committed to ending that war through the Geneva process through the United Nations orchestrated effort".

"I believe there was a chemical attack and we are looking for the actual evidence", Mattis said. "Get ready Russian Federation, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!' You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!"

"You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!" the president added, referring to Assad.

Syria: "All Options Still On The Table'' - White House"
Bolton, a seasoned bureaucratic operator, has been expected to put his stamp on the National Security Council staff. He was incensed this week by the FBI's raid of his personal attorney's office and hotel room.

Jeffrey also said that he thinks Mattis is anxious about losing focus on North Korea, which could result from an attack Syria.

The defense secretary said that he did believe that a chemical attack did take place, but that the United States was still "looking for the actual evidence". "Could be very soon or not so soon at all!"

The Syrian government denied responsibility. A collapse of the Assad regime could lead to a political vacuum in Syria and a resurgence of the Islamic State.

Asked about concerns in planning a strike on Assad's regime, Mattis cited worry over inadvertently causing civilian casualties and avoiding anything that would trigger a wider war.

"We're trying to stop the murder of innocent people".

President Trump has sent mixed messages on the US response, warning Russian Federation in a tweet Wednesday to "get ready" for USA missile strikes in Syria in retaliation for the attack.

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Those punished aren't necessarily involved in the Russian actions in Syria, Ukraine or elsewhere that have drawn consternation from the west.

The United States launched cruise missiles at Assad's armed forces past year after a similar gas attack.

The Pentagon is now working under war powers granted in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, even though operations across the Middle East have morphed broadly since those early days of seeking to destroy Al-Qaeda.

"Both the last administration and this one made very clear that our role in Syria is the defeat of ISIS", Mattis said.

On Thursday, Trump followed up that threat by saying it could happen "very soon or not soon at all". About 2,000 US military personnel are in Syria.

"We will not know from this investigating team" who was responsible, Mattis said, although he theorized that chlorine or sarin nerve agent - or a combination of the two - were used in the barrel bombing of Douma.

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