Donald Trump discusses action plan on Syria with Emmanuel Macron, Theresa May

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Washington | Published: April 10, 2018 11:42:21 PM

US President Donald Trump has discussed with his two key allies French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May the action plan on Syria where a chemical attack killed dozens of women and children.

 Emmanuel Macron, Theresa May, donald trump, us president donald trumpThe US President has cancelled his trip to Latin America to attend the Summit of the Americas. (AP)

US President Donald Trump has discussed with his two key allies French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May the action plan on Syria where a chemical attack killed dozens of women and children.

Trump, who on Twitter warned that the authoritarian Syrian regime would have to pay a price for this, told reporters that a decision on the action plan which would be revealed in the next 24-48 hours.

The US President has also cancelled his trip to Latin America to attend the Summit of the Americas, with the White House citing the developments in Syria as a key reason for this.

A day earlier, he spoke to Marcon over phone.

On Tuesday, he also reached out to May.

“Both leaders condemned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s vicious disregard for human life. The President and Prime Minister agreed not to allow the use of chemical weapons to continue,” the White House said in a readout of the call.

After the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Trump has been under increasing pressure from lawmaker to take action. “Assad must face consequences for the horrific atrocities he’s committed against the Syrian people. But President Trump needs to finally lay out a Syria strategy and come to Congress for approval if he wants to initiate military action,” Senator Tim Kaine, a Democratic leader said.

“He’s a president, not a king, and Congress needs to quit giving him a blank check to wage war against anyone, anywhere. If he strikes Syria without our approval, what will stop him from bombing North Korea or Iran?” Kaine said.

According to The Washington Post, options include the sort of largely symbolic airstrike Trump ordered a year ago in response to a similar chemical attack blamed on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, or a wider and riskier assault.

The New York Times editorial board said that Trump should know by now that tough talk without a coherent strategy or follow-through is dangerous.

“If the Syrian regime’s guilt is determined, the United States should impose tough new sanctions, like a freeze on financial assets, as well,” the daily said.

“If military action is considered, Congress — which has long avoided its constitutional war-making responsibilities — needs to approve it. If a Russian veto prevents Security Council action, then Trump needs to work with our allies, through NATO or otherwise,” The New York Times said.

More than 80 people were killed in a suspected chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in north-western Syria on April 4.

Hundreds suffered symptoms consistent with reaction to a nerve agent after what the opposition and Western powers said was a Syrian government airstrikes on the area.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the incident was fabricated, while his ally Russia said an air strike hit a rebel depot full of chemical munitions.

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