Trump Condemns Chemical Attack in Syria as ‘Reprehensible’

By Melanie Arter | April 4, 2017 | 5:23pm EDT
This photo provided Tuesday, April 4, 2017 by the Syrian anti-government activist group Edlib Media Center, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows victims of a suspected chemical attack, in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, northern Idlib province, Syria. (Edlib Media Center, via AP)

( - President Donald Trump on Tuesday condemned the chemical attack in Syria, which killed at least 58 people including children in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, calling it “reprehensible” and something that “cannot be ignored by the civilized world.”

“Today’s chemical attack in Syria against innocent people, including women and children, is reprehensible and cannot be ignored by the civilized world. These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution,” Trump said in a statement read by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer at Tuesday’s press gaggle.

“President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a ‘red line’ against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing. The United States stands with our allies across the globe to condemn this intolerable act,” the president added.

Tuesday’s attack by the al-Assad regime is considered the deadliest in four years.

“I think the president has made it clear in the past, and I think he’ll reiterate that today that he is not here to telegraph what we’re going to do, but rest assured that I think he is speaking to his national security team this morning and will continue to have that discussion both internally with our national security team as well as with our allies around the globe,” Spicer said when asked what President Donald Trump plans to do in response to the attack.

When asked to explain how recent statements by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that the Syrian people should decide the future of the country and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley that Assad is a war criminal “speak to the political realities of the situation in Syria.”

Spicer said the Obama administration “had opportunities in the past several years to look at regime change” in Syria, but “the landscape was fundamentally different than it is today.”

The Syrian government "categorically rejected" claims that it was responsible, saying it does not possess chemical weapons, has not used them in the past and will not use them, the Associated Press reported.

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