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President Trump Lashes Out at Syrian Chemical Attack

Idlib Chemical Attack Victims
More than 400 were affected by a chemical weapons attack on the northern Syrian province of Idlib. President Donald Trump lashed out at both the Syrian government and his predecessor for not taking action sooner. (Reuters photo)

A suspected chemical weapons attack in the rebel-controlled northern province of Idlib killed at least 100—many of them children—and left more than 400 suffering from respiratory ailments.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the gas attack caused dozens of people to choke and collapse, while others had foam coming out of their mouths and pinpoint pupils—all symptoms of exposure to poisonous gas. Images from the region showed victims foaming at the mouth and almost-naked children writhing on the ground as rescue workers hosed them down, while others showed the lifeless bodies of nearly a dozen children piled onto a wooden cart.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted emotionally to the scenes from northern Syria:

"When I saw pictures of babies suffocating from a chemical attack in Syria, I was shocked and outraged. There's no—none—no excuse whatsoever for the deliberate attacks on civilians and on children, especially with cruel and outlawed chemical weapons. I call on the international community to fulfill its obligation from 2013 to fully and finally remove these horrible weapons from Syria."

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Russian officials claimed the chemical exposure was due to a "terrorist" weapons factory that was hit by a Syrian airstrike, not an attack from the Assad regime. Military experts, however, have rejected that story as "completely unsustainable."

President Donald Trump lashed out at his predecessor over the attack:

"Today's chemical attack in Syria against innocent people, including women and children, is reprehensible and cannot be ignored by the civilized world. These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration's weakness and irresolution. President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a 'red line' against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing. The United States stands with our allies across the globe to condemn this intolerable attack."

It's unclear what action the president intends to take to hold the Syrian government responsible.

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