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Mattis says: "I believe there was a chemical attack in Syria"

Mattis says:

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis signaled Thursday that the US was prepared to wait for definitive proof that Syria carried out a chemical attack before launching an attack, but stressed the moral imperative for a USA response.

Currently, the US and its allies "don't have evidence" that the Syrian regime carried out the attack last Saturday in the Damascus suburb of Douma that reportedly killed at least 40, Mattis said.

But Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard disagreed, and said last year's strike on a Syrian airfield following a chemical attack in Khan Sheikhun was illegal. "We're still working on this", Mattis told the media on Wednesday in Washington.

On Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed that Israel bombed a Syrian military base in response to the chemical attacks. Only that it happened.

Mattis' spoke before a House Armed Services Committee hearing a day after Trump taunted Russian Federation, warning of an attack in Syria.

According to a report in Politico, Mattis has been pushing President Donald Trump and his advisors to look beyond the "spray and pray" approach of cruise missile attacks to consider what the U.S.is trying to achieve in Syria and whether it has a plan to achieve those aims.

Former UFC Champion Brock Lesnar Leaves WrestleMania With Title
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The U.S. president has blamed Assad for the attack and in a rare direct condemnation of Russia's leader Vladimir Putin, Trump tweeted Sunday that "President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible" for their support of "Animal Assad".

"Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria", Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday. The president tweeted on Thursday that an attack "could be very soon or not so soon at all". In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. "Where is our 'Thank you America?'"

Trump told reporters at the White House that he would be having more meetings Thursday about the Syria situation, and "we'll see what happens".

He said "We're looking very seriously at that situation. It's too bad that the world puts us in a position like that", he said.

There is no timetable for a decision on the attack, but officials have said "very soon" since Sunday, which suggests that they are hoping to get the conflict underway as soon as possible.

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