President Trump spoke out against the chemical attack in Syria that resulted in the deaths of at least 70 people. The Business Insider reported that Trump considers the event to have crossed, “beyond a red line” and has led him to change his opinion regarding Bashar al-Assad staying in power in the country.
Trump addressed the issue of the Syrian chemical attack during a press conference with King Abdullah II or Jordan, pledging to work with the leader and other allies in the area against the Islamic State. He also praised Jordan for the efforts they have made in the fight against ISIS.
When asked about whether the attack crossed any lines, Trump responded, “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.” He continued, “That crosses many, many lines. Beyond a red line.”
Stating he has been watching the event unfold, Trump said the attack had, “a big impact on me,” and called the attack “a horrible, horrible thing.” He then asserted that his attitude towards Assad, the leader of Syria, has changed, but did not specify whether any action would be taken stating, “I don’t like to say where I’m going and what I’m doing.”
Trump went on to place responsibility on the former administration stating, “I think the Obama administration had a responsibility to solve the crisis a long time ago.” He continued, “And when [Obama] didn’t cross that line in making the threat, I think that set us back a long ways, not only in Syria but in many other parts of the world, because it was a blank threat.”
He went on to say that the responsibility is now his and that he will “carry it very proudly.”
As reported by The New York Times, while the United States, Britain, and France have openly accused the government in Syria of being responsible for the chemical attack, Russia objected to a U.N. resolution condemning the attack. Russia went on to suggest the insurgents may be responsible or that the attack could have been fabricated to embarrass Assad.
The attack took place in northwest Syria in a rebel-held town. While the attack was noted as one of the deadliest in recent years by The New York Times, it isn’t an isolated incident.
Rebels have been working to oust Assad for nearly six years, with the regime using chemical weapons against rebels throughout the war.
Jordan has taken in over 600,000 refugees since the civil war in Syria began, leaning heavily on support from the U.S. and other western countries to make the task manageable. King Abdullah is the first foreign leader to meet with Trump in person since he became president, and is considered one of the more moderate leaders in the region.