Trump blames Syria attack on Assad — and Obama

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, October 20, 2015.
REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

President Donald Trump on Tuesday condemned a suspected chemical attack in Syria that left dozens dead, pinning the massacre on Syrian President Bashar Assad and taking a swipe at his American predecessor in the process.

At least 83 people, including 25 children, died in the attack, and the death toll could rise, according to NBC News. Leaders around the world condemned the massacre on Tuesday afternoon.

"Today's chemical attack in Syria against innocent people, including women and children is reprehensible and cannot be ignored by the civilized world. These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration's weakness and irresolution," Trump said in a statement. "President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a 'red line' against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing. The United States stands with our allies across the globe to condemn this intolerable attack."

The Syrian government has denied that it had a role and said it was complying with an international ban on chemical weapons. It has blamed past chemical attacks on the rebels fighting the Assad regime.

The Associated Press said Tuesday marked the third claimed chemical attack in Syria in a little more than a week.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also released a statement condemning the attack Tuesday after he received some criticism for not answering questions about it earlier in the day.

"Those who defend and support him, including Russia and Iran, should have no illusions about Assad or his intentions," Tillerson said in a statement. "Anyone who uses chemical weapons to attack his own people shows a fundamental disregard for human decency and must be held accountable."

— NBC News contributed to this report.

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