President Trump has no intention of inserting more U.S. ground troops into Syria — to the relief of many of his supporters.
Trump said the April 2017 bombing of a Syrian airfield was an “act of humanity” to punish Syrian president Bashar al Assad for attacking civilians with the nerve gas sarin in violation of international treaties.
The confusion escalated after U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley — a former Never Trumper — claimed the Trump administration wants “regime change” in Syria (which would require more ground troops).
But the president said his “America First” policy has not changed, despite conflicting statements from his underlings.
“We’re not going into Syria,” President Trump told the New York Post. “Our policy is the same; it hasn’t changed. We’re not going into Syria.”
Trump said he had to send a warning to Bashar al-Assad that there will be consequences if he uses chemical weapons against civilians again. Trump said getting rid of ISIS — not regime change in Syria or elsewhere— remains his top priority:
“Our big mission is getting rid of ISIS. That’s where it’s always been. But when you see kids choking to death, you watch their lungs burning out, we had to hit him and hit him hard.
We could have gone bigger in terms of targets and more of them, but we thought this would be the appropriate first shot. We hope he won’t do any more gassing.”
To date, the U.S. government has spent $4.8 trillion dollars of taxpayer money on wars in the Middle East. And 7,000 American soldiers have died in these wars.
President Trump also said Russian president Vladimir Putin should do more to make sure Assad does not step out of line again and wishes Putin would stop backing Assad, whom he called a “butcher” and “barbarian.”
“We’re not exactly on the same wavelength with Russia, to put it mildly,” Trump said. “Putin must see what a barbarian this guy is, and it’s a very bad symbol for Russia [backing] this guy gassing children and using barrel bombs.”
President Trump is furious that the Obama administration lied when it bragged in 2014 that the United States had destroyed all the stockpiles of chemical weapons in Syria.
As a result, Trump said he doesn’t trust Obama’s claims about the Iran Nuclear Deal, under which Iran — the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world — promised never to acquire nuclear weapons.
In the lopsided agreement, Obama lifted economic sanctions that had crippled Iran financially for decades, unfroze $150 billion in assets, and gave Iran $400 million in cash.
“It was the single worst deal ever,” President Trump said. “It’s a disgrace that a deal like that was even signed. It made Iran a power from a country that was ready to fall apart. Iran won’t honor its deal. Instead of saying, ‘Thank you very much for saving our country,’ they’ve been emboldened.”
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