The US says it has put Bashar al-Assad on notice that it will take further military action if he uses chemical weapons again, while appearing to back away from wider military involvement in the Syrian conflict, less than 24 hours after launching Tomahawk missiles at a regime airbase.
“The United States will no longer wait for Assad to use chemical weapons without any consequences. Those days are over,” the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, told a special session of the UN security council.
“The United States took a very measured step last night, Haley added. “We are prepared to do more, but we hope that will not be necessary. ”
However, the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, refused to discuss any next steps – military or diplomatic – as the world struggled to understand Trump’s policy on the civil war.
Syrian warplanes were reported to have taken off from the airbase targeted by the US missiles, suggesting that the military impact of the overnight attack had been minimal.
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