UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – US President Donald Trump pledged a swift and strong response to what is believed to be a chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma, apparently referring to a military response.
Trump said in a meeting with military commanders and national security advisers that he would make a decision on the response by Monday night, “or very soon,” adding that the United States had “many military options” on Syria.
“But we can not leave atrocities as we have all seen,” he said. “We can not let that happen in our world … especially when we are able to stop it because of the strength of the United States and the strength of our country.”
Syria’s aid organization said the suspected chemical weapons attack late on Saturday killed at least 60 people and wounded more than a thousand others in several places in the city of Douma near the capital Damascus.
Initial US estimates have so far been unable to determine definitively the materials used in the attack and the responsibility of forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could not be ascertained.
Trump, however, said Washington had “more clarity” about who was responsible for the attack.
US officials told Reuters Washington was considering a military response involving several countries.
The White House noted that Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke by telephone for the second time in less than 24 hours to coordinate their response.