Russia Dares Trump to Take a Stance on Syria

Russia has challenged President Donald Trump to set out his strategy on Syria after he declared that an apparent chemical weapons attack had transformed his views on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Trump, who has previously argued against removing Assad from power, said Wednesday's attack on a rebel-held town in Syria's Idlib province was a "heinous" act that "crossed a lot of lines for me."

But Trump did not offer any details of how US strategy on Syria would change. Nor did he directly criticize Russia, which has stood by Assad in the face of worldwide condemnation of the attack that killed at least 86 people, including 26 children.

Trump's Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, said on Wednesday there was "no doubt" that Assad was responsible for the attack and called on Russia to "really think carefully" about its continued support for the regime.
When asked if Russia would reconsider its backing for Assad, Russia's Foreign Ministry instead challenged the US to show its cards.

"Russia's approach to Assad is clear. He is the legal president of an independent state. What is the US approach?" ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told CNN in a text message.


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