US President Donald Trump has ruled out sending American troops to Syria to fight the government of President Bashar al-Assad, insisting that defeating Daesh (ISIL) remains Washington’s first priority.
“We’re not going into Syria. Our policy is the same — it hasn’t changed. We’re not going into Syria,” Trump told Fox News on Tuesday.
At least 15 civilians have been killed in an airstrike by the US-led coalition warplanes on an area near the city of Raqqah in northern Syria.
Reports on Saturday said the strike targeted the village of Hanida, some 30 kilometers west of Raqqah and located on the southern bank of the Euphrates River.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group based in Britain that mainly advocates anti-government militants in Syria, said the attack was carried out by warplanes of the US-led coalition, which claims to be fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorists in Iraq and Syria.
To discuss the issue, Press TV interviewed Richard Becker, with the ANSWER Coalition, and George Lambrakis, a former US diplomat, on Thursday.
Becker dismissed the allegation that Syrian government forces had conducted a chemical attack, saying that it made no sense to carry out such a strike at a time when political talks were to be held in Brussels to discuss the future of Syria.
“Why would the government of Syria decide to carry out a chemical weapons attack on a very remote area?” he asked. “What was the motivation just as there is about to be talks taking place in Brussels?”
He referred to comments by US officials earlier that the political reality of Bashar al-Assad being the president of Syria had to be accepted and that the US’s priority would no more be his removal. Becker then said carrying out a chemical attack just after such posturing by US officials would make no sense for the Syrian government.
“There is also evidence that has been presented by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that opposition groups in Syria have access to chemical weapons and how they got them is a very good question,” Becker said.
The United States has threatened to take a unilateral action to restrain North Korea’s nuclear program unless China increases pressure on Pyongyang.
In an interview with the Financial Times on Sunday, US President Donald Trump said he will discuss North Korea’s nuclear issue with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during their meeting in Florida later this week.
Trump said he had “great respect” for President Xi and “great respect for China”, adding, “I would not be at all surprised if we did something that would be very dramatic and good for both countries and I hope so.”