The missile attack did not appear to inflict much damage to Syrian forces, however, and foreign affairs analyst Vladimir Frolov told The New York Times that the missile strike was “just a symbolic act meant for Trump to look different from Obama”.
“I don’t know that it didn’t [work] based on what we know on this point”, she said.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Monday on Twitter: “Any further attacks done to the people of Syria will be blamed on Assad, but also on Russian Federation and Iran who support him killing his own people”.
Assad’s government and Russian Federation denied the White House accusations.
Mattis said that as the next fight against ISIS fighters in the Euphrates River Valley approaches, “we’ll work that fight, again, with deconfliction efforts”.
Reporters traveling in Germany with the USA defence secretary, James Mattis, were told that the Pentagon was prepared to take action after activity was seen at the Shayrat base similar to the pattern that preceded the April gas attack on Khan Sheikhoun, which killed at least 80 people.
Trump said at the time that the chemical attack crossed “many, many lines”, and called on “all civilized nations” to join the U.S.in seeking an end to the carnage in Syria.
Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said the activity at the Shayrat air base indicates “active preparations for chemical weapons use”.
BuzzFeed, the AP, and the New York Timesreported that some Defense and State officials had no idea the White House was about to release this statement and that they had no idea where the information it was based on came from.
The Syrian military and Foreign Ministry did not comment on the White House warning, although a Syrian state-run television station, al-Ikhbariya, said the allegations were fabricated.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer speaks during a the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Monday, June 26, 2017.
The Kremlin was quick to respond saying the United States warning is unacceptable.”I am not aware of any information about a threat that chemical weapons can be used”, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “These activities are similar to what we observed prior to the regime chemical weapons attack against Khan Sheikhoun in April”.
On Tuesday, deputy White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said “all relevant agencies … were involved in the process from the beginning”.
On Tuesday, the Trump administration issued a statement from an anonymous “White House official” to insist that statements made by anonymous Pentagon sources were “false”.
Trump, despite authorizing strikes earlier this year, has been inconsistent on Syria.
“We fully supported the last strike [against Syria’s military] that took out the airplanes and the support that they required to drop chemical weapons, and if the United States is considering a similar strike, then we will support that, too”, Fallon said. Syria, on the other hand, denied the claims.
Trump and his top aides have so far been hesitant about outlining the administration’s Syria policy and the President has even said he is “proud” of his flexibility.
Tensions have heightened between key players – especially between the USA and Russian Federation – over Syria as the conflict there has transformed from a civil war to a complex battle involving worldwide players and their proxies.