WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday warned of a “big price” after reports of a chemical weapons attack in Syria almost a year to the day since the US struck a Syrian air field.
“Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria,” Trump tweeted. “Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price…”
He continued, “….to pay. Open area immediately for medical help and verification. Another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. SICK!”
In a string of tweets, Trump blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran for backing Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and also pointed blame at his predecessor, former US President Barack Obama, over Syria.
“If President Obama had crossed his stated Red Line In The Sand, the Syrian disaster would have ended long ago! Animal Assad would have been history!” Trump tweeted.
Syrian activist groups on Saturday said toxic gas inside barrel bombs dropped from helicopters over a rebel-held city in Syria killed dozens of civilians and wounded scores more. Syrian state news said an “official source” denied the allegations.
In April of last year, the US launched tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base as the US and others accused Assad’s forces of perpetrating a deadly chemical weapons attack, which the Syrian military denied.
Speaking on ABC’s “This Week” in an interview taped prior to the President’s tweets, White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said he was struck by the “timing” of the reported attack, around the anniversary of last year’s missile strike. He said the President and his advisers had been discussing the strike and would not rule out another one.
“I wouldn’t take anything off the table,” he said.