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'Terrible, terrible attack': Trump condemns Syrian massacre

By Lalit K Jha
April 06, 2017 08:07 IST
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The US president said that the ‘horrible’ chemical attack, which has now claimed over 85 lives, has changed his attitude towards the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. 

IMAGE: A man carries the body of a dead child, after what rescue workers described as a suspected gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria. Photograph: Ammar Abdullah/Reuters

United States President Donald Trump said the suspected “horrible” chemical attack in Syria that has now left over 85 people dead cannot be tolerated and it has crossed “many many lines”.

“Attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me. That was a horrible, horrible thing. I have been watching it, seeing it... my attitude towards Syria and (Syrian President) Assad has changed very much,” Trump said.

Responding to a series of questions on the Syrian chemical attack, Trump indicated that he is going to adopt a much tougher approach against the authoritarian Syrian regime, but he did not gave any indication of what steps plans to take after the horrible chemical attacks against innocent people.

“Chemical attack was so horrific in Syria against innocent people, including women, small children, and even beautiful little babies. Their deaths was an affront to humanity. These heinous actions by the Assad regime cannot be tolerated,” Trump said.

At least 85 civilians, including 30 children, died in a suspected chemical attack on Tuesday in the rebel-held Syrian town of Khan Sheikhun in Idlib province in the northwest.

“The United States stands with our allies across the globe to condemn this horrific attack and all other horrific attacks, for that matter,” said the US President as he indicated that he would be adopting a much tough attitude against the Syrian regime.

“These are very troubled times in the Middle East. And we see what happened just recently, yesterday in Syria. Horrible. Horrible thing. Unspeakable,” Trump said.

He described the use of chemical weapons against people as a “terrible affront to humanity”.

“Terrible. Terrible. It is a terrible affront to humanity. I can tell you. Terrible,” he said.

“You’ll see,” Trump said when asked if he has any change of policy on the Syrian conflict.

“It crossed a lot of lines for me,” Trump said when he was asked about the Red Line set by his predecessor Barack Obama.

“When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, babies, little babies, with a chemical gas that is so lethal, people were shocked to hear what gas it was, that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line. Many, many lines,” he said.

Trump said he is responsible for the US reaction to the chemical attacks.

Earlier, Trump alleged such acts are consequences of the Obama administration’s weakness.

“Today’s (Tuesday) chemical attack in Syria against innocent people, including women and children, is reprehensible and cannot be ignored by the civilised world,” Trump had said in a statement.

“These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime is a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution,” he said.

“As you know, I’ll be meeting with the president of China very soon in Florida. And that’s another responsibility we have, and that’s called the country of North Korea,” he said.

Trump said the situation would have been easier if it was handled years ago, hinting again at the previous administration.

“We have a big problem. We have somebody that is not doing the right thing. And that’s going to be my responsibility. But I’ll tell you, that responsibility could’ve been made a lot easier if it was handled years ago,” he said in response to a question.

“If you look back over the last few weeks, there were other attacks using gas. You’re now talking about a whole different level,” he said.

Trump reaffirmed his vow to destroy the Islamic State group and “protect civilisation”.

“We will destroy Islamic State and we will protect civilisation, we have no choice,” Trump said.

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Lalit K Jha
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