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'Nothing Is Off the Table': World Awaits US Response to Syria Chemical Attack

04-09-2018
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What are the consequences if Trump does not respond militarily and pulls US troops out of Syria too soon? Watch for insights and analysis from CBN News National Security Correspondent Erik Rosales and Senior International Correspondent Dale Hurd.

One year ago, President Trump ordered a US missile strike in Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed 80 civilians, including women and small children.

This time, he seems to be weighing his options and allowing American allies to weigh-in before possibly responding militarily. Before the start of a cabinet meeting this morning, the president said he'll decide on a response within 24-48 hours.

Trump condemned the "heinous attack" in Syria and said "Nothing is off the table" when it comes to the US response.
  
"If it's Russia, if it's Syria, if it's Iran, if it's all of them together, we'll figure it out," he said. Referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin, he added: "Everybody's going to pay a price - he will, everybody will."

This past weekend, the Syrian government was accused of launching another chemical weapons attack on civilians—this one, on a rebel-held area near Damascus. At least 42 people were killed and 500 injured. 

The Israel military responded by launching an airstrike on the T-4 military airbase 40-miles from the city of Homs. 

But what about the United States, what are the options? 

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. 

According to CBN News National Security Correspondent Erik Rosales, just hours before the UN meeting, Secretary of Defense James Mattis released a statement saying the U.S. is not ruling anything out. 

"One other thing that Mattis actually said is why are chemical weapons still being used (in Syria) when Russia was part of the framework of the 2013 agreement in which to get rid of chemical weapons, (and) biological weapons in Syria," explained Rosales.

So, how likely is it that President Trump will respond with tougher action against Russia and Syrian President Assad this time?

"I think he has to be tougher on him. Not just necessarily to send a message to the American people, but also just for the Syrian people as well," said Rosales.

And how would Russian President Vladimir Putin likely respond to a US military strike in Syria?

CBN News Senior International Correspondent Dale Hurd has reported on  Russia for more than three decades.

"…If we decide to get tough with Putin, lots of scary rhetoric, they'll talk about nuclear war, but they would I think, avoid any confrontation in Syria with us. I think they would try to get their revenge in let's say, Ukraine," explained Hurd.

But Hurd said if differences over Syria lead to a direct military battle between Russia and the United States, Russia would not fare well.

"Putin is playing poker in Syria. If we met him on the battlefield, his army would not do well…one of their biggest warships went to Syria with a tugboat in case it broke down." 

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