Trump at odds with Mattis on Syria military response

Thank goodness there was someone with a sense of proportion to reduce the risk of the situation spinning completely out of control.

From The National:

The Syria debate continued to heat up in Washington as different branches of US Government said they now have proof that the Assad regime carried out chemical weapons use attack.

Reports have also indicated that Donald Trump clashed with Secretary of Defense James Mattis over the scope and targeting mission of a potential US response.

Late on Friday, the White House held its fourth meeting this week to discuss Syria, attended this time by deputy Secretaries and advisers, according to spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.

Mr Trump called his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron earlier in the day. The two leaders have been coordinating very closely joint responses and actions on Syria and Mr Macron called the Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of speaking to Mr Trump.

But in Washington, the debate on US options intensified amidst reports that Mr Trump is at odds with his defence chief over the military options in Syria.

The US President “is prodding his military advisers to agree to a more sweeping retaliatory strike in Syria than they consider prudent, and is unhappy with the more limited options they have presented to him so far,” reported the Wall Street Journal on Friday.

Unlike Mr Mattis who is concerned of retaliatory measures against the US and has been advocating a limited strike, Mr Trump “has been pushing for an attack that not only would punish the Syrian regime but also exact a price from two of its international patrons, Russia and Iran,” US officials told the paper.

Read the whole thing …

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