Washington: President Donald Trump said he will not let Bashar al-Assad get away with using chemical weapons on his people in Syria, as he slammed his predecessor Barack Obama for not taking enough action on “horrible acts against humanity” in in the war-ravaged country.
“Had President Obama gone across that line and done what he should have done, I don’t believe you’d have Russia and I don’t believe you’d have Iran to anywhere near the extent, and maybe not at all, in Syria today,” Trump told reporters at a joint news conference with visiting Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri yesterday.
“I am not a fan of Assad. I certainly think that what he’s done to that country (Syria) and to humanity is horrible. I have been saying that for a long time. I am not somebody that will stand by and let him get away with what he tried to do,” he said.
In the “red line” warning of 2013, Obama responded to reports that Assad had used chemical weapons by saying he would meet further chemical weapons use with force.
Later, Assad again used chemical weapons, and Obama opted to have Russia step in to remove them.
“He (Assad) did it a number of times when President Obama drew the red line in the sand, and then he should have crossed that red line, because some horrible acts against humanity took place, including gas and the killing through gases. That was a bad day for this country,” Trump said.
He said the US is having extraordinary success against the ISIS.
“One of the things that we have made tremendous strides at is getting rid of ISIS. We have generals that don’t like to talk, they like to do,” he said.
Trump said the US has made “tremendous strides” against the Islamic State terror group in Syria, Iraq and other locations.
“Our military is an incredible fighting force. And as you know, I let the commanders on the ground do what they had to do,” he said.
The US president added that before he took charge, “The commanders had to call the White House and speak to people that didn’t know what was happening, where they were, what locations, practically, probably never heard of the countries they were talking about or the towns.”
Responding to another question, Trump said he would be making his position clear on the Hezbollah clear in the next 24 hours.
“I’ll be making my position very clear over the next 24 hours. We’re going to see what is exactly taking place. I have meetings with some of my very expert military representatives and others. So I’ll be making that decision very shortly,” he said.