Last night, a very decisive action has been taken on the part of President Trump regarding the heinous attack against the civilians launched by Assad. The latest actions of the proven Syrian dictator Assad, have changed the Trump’s stand on Syria.
In the briefing held off camera for the White House press pool, HR McMaster commented on the strike ordered by President Trump on Syria. What everyone wanted to know is in what way, if any, does the strike change Assad’s military capability?
“Obviously the regime will maintain a certain capacity to commit mass murder with chemical weapons we think beyond this particular air field. But it was aimed at this particular airfield for a reason because we could trace this murderous act back to that facility and this was not a small strike…what it does communicate is a big shift, a big shift in Assad’s calculus. It should be anyway because this is the first time that the United States has taken direct military action against that regime or the regime of his father. So I think it was critical is the president’s decision in response to this mass murder attack but also in the context of all the previous attacks that have occurred – I think is over 50 – chemical attacks previously, post-2013 when the UN resolution went into effect. So I think it was both. It was aimed at the capacity to commit mass murder with chemical weapons but it was not of a scope or a scale that it would go after all such related facilities,” explained McMaster.
This was entirely a US operation and it is so far unclear whether the Coalition will play any part in the military operations that may ensue in the future.
Did an emotional reaction from Trump play into this decision?
“I do not view it as an emotional reaction at all….As President Trump evaluated this first attack, these attacks that occurred on his watch and reflected upon the prior responses or lack of responses he came to the conclusion that we could not yet again turn away and turn a blind eye to what’s happened. The use of these weapons as I indicated earlier, one of the concerns we have is the more we have the more we fail to respond to the use of these weapons, the more we begin to normalize their use. And when we begin to normalize their use we are opening up wider spread use by others who would use such weapons. And I don’t think we should in any way diminish the risk of the situation in Syria where there is a lot of chaos on the ground, there are elements on the ground in Syria, elements that are plotting to reach our shore and these type of weapons falling into their hands and being brought to our shore is a direct threat to the American people,” said Secretary Tillerson.
In addition, he clarified that the Russian approval was not sought but protocol was followed, including command contacts.
“Our target in this attack was not Russia. It was not the Russians. It was not their forces nor any Russian individuals. Our target was this air field and the Syrian regime,”concluded Tillerson.