“President Obama failed to uphold his “Red Line” in the sand over Assad’s use of chemical weapons in 2012….”
What is clear is President Trump is not locked into one position and can adjust his stance when new facts become available.
The evidence is mounting pointing to Syria’s President Assad’s regime as being behind the atrocious chemical attack this week. Assad has held he and his allies had nothing to do with the attacks but in the face of mounting facts disputing that position, President Trump has moved to find a solution to remove Assad.
US intelligence reports, radar, eye witnesses and more all point to Assad being responsible for the chemical strike. The facts are clear, and the US administration under President Trump said Assad’s actions could not be allowed to continue.
Secretary of State Tillerson said the President is formulating plans with the advice of the military to remove Assad from power. “Steps are underway” on an international coalition to pressure Bashar Assad from power. Being briefed on military options for Syria, the President would not say what specific steps the U.S. and its allies might take in response to the latest deadly chemical weapons attack.
In response, two U.S. warships in the Mediterranean Sea fired 59 Tomahawk missiles intended for a single target Ash Sha’irat in Homs province in western Syria. That’s the airfield from which the United States believes the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fired the banned weapons. The missiles were launched from the USS Ross and USS Porter, Navy destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, off Syria’s western coast.
Tillerson also said Russia, Assad’s strongest partner, would give Assad up if pushed. No leader wants to be seen as endorsing chemical weapon attacks. When Tillerson was asked if the U.S. would organize a coalition to remove Assad, Tillerson said: “Those steps are underway. It’s a serious matter; it requires a serious response.”
When asked if Assad should go, President Trump said, “He’s there, and I guess he’s running things so something should happen.”
On Thursday, McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., issued a joint statement which said, “The message from the United States must be that this will not stand. We must show that no foreign power can or will protect Assad now. He must pay a punitive cost for this horrific attack.”
At least 72 Syrians, including many innocent civilians to include children, were killed in Tuesday’s attack.
President Obama failed to uphold his “Red Line” in the sand over Assad’s use of chemical weapons in 2012. Then President, Obama signaled that military action would be taken if Assad continued to use chemical weapons. Assad did just that, and President Obama did nothing.
Now with President Trump in office, there is no “Red Line.” There are only the actions of Assad, and President Trump is weighing his options to remove Assad from power because of those actions. Just last week, the emphasis on removing Assad had waned. President Trump had put forth the opinion that the Syrian people should be able to decide about the future of Assad, but with this new attack, President Trump has shifted his position on Assad and is actively working to see him removed.
Jon Harris is an OpsLens contributor and former Army NCO, civilian law enforcement officer, and defense contractor with over 30 years in the law enforcement community. He holds a B.S. in Government and Politics and an M.S. in Criminal Justice.
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