Thursday, 6 April 2017

Trump challenged by Russia on Syria

Russia has challenged U.S. President Donald Trump to set out his strategy on Syria after he said an apparent chemical weapons attack had transformed his views on President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
Trump, who has previously argued against removing Assad from power, said the attack on a rebel-held town in Syria's Idlib province was a "heinous" act that "crossed a lot of lines for me."
Video shows gas attack aftermath
Picture shows gas attack aftermath.
The President has not offered any details of how U.S. strategy on Syria would change -- but he did tell some members of Congress that he's considering military action in Syria in retaliation for Tuesday's chemical attack.
    The Joint Chiefs of Staff held a quickly called meeting in the office of the chairman, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, on Thursday afternoon and were briefed on the military options regarding Syria.
    The attack killed at least 86 people, including 26 children.
    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters that "steps are underway" to organize an international effort to remove Assad. He called on Russia to "consider carefully" its continued support for the Syrian regime.
    When asked whether Russia would reconsider its backing for Assad, Russia's Foreign Ministry instead challenged the United States to show its cards.
    "Russia's approach to Assad is clear. He is the legal president of an independent state. What is the US approach?" Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told CNN in a text message.
    Reported by:
    Kanwal Abidi 
    - White House Correspondent 
    - U.S. Military Commissions reporter
    (This is a continuing story, and will be updated accordingly)