Tuesday at a press conference at the Pentagon, Defense Secretary James Mattis said there was “no doubt” that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical attack last week in Syria.
Mattis said, “Last Tuesday, the Syrian regime attacked its own people using chemical weapons. I have personally reviewed the intelligence and there’s no doubt the Syrian regime is responsible for the decision to attack and for the attack itself. In response to the attack, our government began a deliberate process, led by the National Security Council, to recommend diplomatic and military options to the president. We met over several days and I spoke with some of our allies.”
“The National Security Council considered the near century old international prohibition against the use of chemical weapons, the Syrian regime’s repeated violation of the international law, and the ruthless murders the regime had committed,” he continued. “We determined that a measured military response could best deter the regime from doing this again. Our actions were successful. Based on these considerations, on April 6, the president directed military action consistent with our vital national interests to deter the use of chemical weapons. This military action demonstrates the United States will not passively stand by while Assad ignores international law and employs chemical weapons he had declared destroyed.”