The world was shocked when videos and pictures circulated the internet of young children in Syria foaming at the mouth on the brink of death due to a chemical weapons attack perpetrated against Bashar Al-Assad. The United States refused to stand by and watch this egregious human rights violation take place. Both the President and Secretary of State have publically acknowledged the attack.
On Thursday Secretary of State Rex Tillerson directly blamed Bashar Al-Assad and his despotic regime for the chemical weapons attack. He told reporters the following during a press conference,
“There’s no doubt in our mind that the Syrian regime, under the leadership of Bashar al-Assad, is responsible for this horrific attack. It is very important that the Russian government consider carefully their continued support for the Assad regime.”
His comments were especially harsh considering he is set to meet in Moscow next week with the Russian foreign minister. That will surely be a tough conversation they will be having. As a result of the attack eighty people are dead, the majority of which were young children. The attack took place in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun.
The President and Secretary of State maintained that the Syrian government will be held responsible and that a plethora of measures are being taken to do just that. Secretary of State Tillerson said,
“Assad’s role in the future is uncertain, clearly. With the acts that he has taken, it would seem that there would be no role for him to govern the Syrian people.”
When speaking with the press corps aboard Air Force One the President said the following about the tragic attack,
“I think what Assad did is terrible. I think what happened in Syria is one of the truly egregious crimes. It shouldn’t have happened. It shouldn’t be allowed to happen. I think what happened in Syria is a disgrace to humanity. He’s there, and I guess he’s running things, so something should happen.”
Unlike the former administration who placed a red line in the sand in reference to chemical attacks and then backed off of it this, President will do no such thing. There are certain crimes that are utterly beyond the pale they require drastic action. Last night’s missile attack on Syria shows the President takes this human rights travesty seriously.