Trump team gets on warpath with Syria

The Daily Beast reports: President Donald Trump said Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad might have to step down, as his defense officials spent Thursday discussing possible military options to punish the dictator for a suspected sarin gas attack this week against his own people.

“What Assad did is terrible,” Trump told reporters on a plane flight to Mar-a-Lago for meetings with the Chinese premier. “What happened in Syria is truly one of the egregious crimes and…it shouldn’t be allowed to happen.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said steps are already underway for organizing an international coalition to remove Assad.

“Assad’s role in the future is uncertain, clearly, and with the acts that he has taken, it would seem that there would be no role for him to govern the Syrian people,” Tillerson said at a Palm Beach, Florida news conference a week after hinting the U.S. could tolerate Assad staying in power. “The process by which Assad would leave is something that I think requires an international community effort—both to first defeat ISIS within Syria, to stabilize the Syrian country, to avoid further civil war, and then to work collectively with our partners around the world through a political process that would lead to Assad leaving.” [Continue reading…]

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