Trump considered new military action against Syrian govt.: Report

Press TV – The administration of US President Donald Trump has considered new military action against the Syrian government on the allegations that it has used chemical weapons against militants, according to officials, raising the prospect of a second US strike on the government in less than a year.

Trump called on the military to prepare options for punishing the government of President Bashar al-Assad in response to reports of alleged chlorine gas attacks and possibly other chemicals against foreign-sponsored militants, the Washington Post reported on Monday.

The Syrian government has dismissed as “lies” Washington’s claims that it has used toxic chemicals against militants or civilians.

Last week, Syria even rejected allegations of possessing chemical weapons, stressing that the foreign-backed Takfiri terrorist groups operating in the country, including al-Nusra and Daesh, had obtained some stocks.

Syria’s Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Hussam Edin Aala on Wednesday refuted the “false allegations” made by certain countries against his government, saying, “Syria cannot possibly be using chemical weapons because it very simply has none in its possession.”

In his address to the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Aala also denounced the use of chemical weapons anywhere.

The remarks came a day after the UK said it would start “seriously” considering joining US military strikes against the Arab country if such claims were true.

On February 26, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is sympathetic to anti-Damascus terrorists, said 14 civilians had suffered breathing difficulties after a Syrian warplane struck a village in Eastern Ghouta region in the suburbs of the Syrian capital, Damascus.

The report came just after Russia warned that militants were planning a gas attack there to blame it on the Syrian government.

Trump administration officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said rump discussed potential military actions against Syria early last week at a meeting with Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at the White House.

Trump did not approve any military action and that the administration decided to continue monitoring the situation, said one administration official.

US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster alongside President Donald Trump as he holds a Cabinet Meeting in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, DC, December 20, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Another official said that Mattis opposed any military action in response to the alleged chlorine attacks and that McMaster “was for it.”

According to American political analyst Scott Rickard, the United States accuses the Syrian government of developing and using chemical weapons in order to “justify its illegal and criminal acts” in the war-ravaged country.

“The sarin gas attacks that they are claiming don’t even occur. I can’t find evidence. There’s no evidence whatsoever,” Scott Rickard, a former intelligence linguist in Orlando, told Press TV recently.

“The Americans are using the same tactics over and over again to justify their illegal and criminal acts against Syria,” he added.

President Trump ordered the launch of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base last April following a deadly sarin gas attack in Idlib, which the White House blamed on the Syrian government.