Date
16 December 2017
Donald Trump retains the option to take further action against the Assad regime in Syria, the White House said on Monday. Photo: Reuters
Donald Trump retains the option to take further action against the Assad regime in Syria, the White House said on Monday. Photo: Reuters

Trump open to additional strikes on Syria

US President Donald Trump is open to authorizing additional strikes on Syria if its government uses chemical weapons again or deploys barrel bombs in the country, according to a spokesman.

“The sight of people being gassed and blown away by barrel bombs ensures that if we see this kind of action again, we hold open the possibility of future action,” Reuters quoted White House press secretary Sean Spicer as saying on Monday.

“If you gas a baby, if you put a barrel bomb in to innocent people … you will see a response from this president.”

Barrel bombs are oil drums or cylinders packed with explosives and shrapnel.

Trump ordered a cruise missile strike on a Syrian air base last week in response to an alleged poison gas attack by Syria’s military in which scores of civilians, including many children, died.

Spicer said later his mention of barrel bombs as a potential trigger for further action by the US did not reflect a change in position.

“Nothing has changed in our posture,” he was quoted as saying in an email.

“The president retains the option to act in Syria against the Assad regime whenever it is in the national interest, as was determined following that government’s use of chemical weapons against its own citizens.

“And as the president has repeatedly made clear, he will not be telegraphing his military responses.”

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RC

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