PoliticsForeign Policy


Trump Toughens Talk On Syria After Chemical Attack

After a major chemical weapons attack in Syria, President Trump told reporters, "My attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much."
Posted at 8:23 PM, Apr 05, 2017

President Trump's foreign policy priorities seem to have shifted after the Syrian government apparently used chemical weapons to attack a Syrian town.

During a press conference, Trump told reporters: "That attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me, big impact. ... It's very, very possible — I will tell you, it's already happened — that my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much."

Trump opposed U.S. intervention in Syria when the question was last raised in 2013 and stayed noncommittal on ousting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the campaign trail.

When MSNBC's Joe Scarborough asked Trump: "You know what, Assad's a horrible person but he stays there. Our job is getting rid of ISIS. Is that where you are?"

Trump replied, "That's where I am."

But after the use of chemical weapons left at least 70 people dead, including multiple children, the U.S ambassador to the United Nations called on the international community to hold Syria and its allies responsible.

Ambassador Nikki Haley told the Security Council, "When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action."

And although the Trump administration criticized the Obama administration for not enforcing its own red lines on Syria, Trump laid out his own ultimatum after the attack.

"That crosses many, many lines. Beyond a red line. Many, many lines," Trump said.