Trump says 'everybody' involved in apparent Syrian chemical weapons attack will 'pay a price'

Key Points
  • President Trump says he will make "major decisions" on Syria in the next two days after speaking with military leaders.
  • Trump says "everybody" involved in an apparent chemical weapons attack over the weekend will "pay a price."
  • "If it's Russia, if it's Syria, if it's Iran, if it's all of them together, we'll figure it out," Trump says.
  • The president does not rule out military action in response to the attack.
President Trump condemns heinous attack in Syria
President Trump condemns heinous attack in Syria

President Donald Trump said Monday he will make "major decisions" on Syria within 48 hours, and did not rule out new military action.

The president condemned reports of a chemical weapons attack that left dozens of people dead over the weekend, calling it "atrocious." He said "nothing's off the table" in response to the attack.

"Very concerned, when a thing like that can happen, this is about humanity," the president told reporters during a Cabinet meeting. "We're talking about humanity. And it can't be allowed to happen. So we'll be looking at that barbaric act and studying what's going on."

"If it's Russia, if it's Syria, if it's Iran, if it's all of them together, we'll figure it out and we'll know the answers quite soon," he added.

Later Monday, Trump said that the U.S. is "getting clarity" and "some pretty good answers" on who is responsible for the alleged chemical attack. The president did not provide further details on the subject.

President Donald Trump holds a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, April 9, 2018.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

Years into a brutal Syrian civil war, supporters of President Bashar Assad have been accused more than once of using chemical weapons. The latest apparent chemical attack hit outside of Damascus. People were left choking and foaming at the mouth as a result of the onslaught, according to reports. Assad's regime has denied using chemical weapons.

Last week, Trump discussed his desire to pull the American forces fighting the so-called Islamic State from Syria. It is unclear how or if the apparent chemical attack would change his plans. On Sunday, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., argued Trump's talk about withdrawing troops "emboldened" the Assad regime.

McCain tweet

Trump responded to a chemical weapons attack last year by hitting a Syrian government airfield with dozens of missiles. Later Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she had no details to add about Trump's possible plans.

Trump said Russian President Vladimir Putin "may" bear some responsibility for the latest attack. "It's going to be very tough" for Putin if he had a role in it, the president added.

"He will, everybody" involved will "pay a price" for the atrocity, Trump said.

In a Sunday tweet, the president called the attack "mindless" and said Russia and Iran "are responsible for backing Animal Assad."

Trump tweet