This story is over 5 years old.


Trump is not going to tell Syria when he's going to bomb Syria

He tweeted an assault might come “not so soon at all” – less than 24 hours after warning Russia to “get ready” for an attack on its ally.

Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that he had “never said when an attack on Syria would take place” and that such an assault might come “not so soon at all” – less than 24 hours after warning Russia to “get ready” for an attack on its ally.

The president’s latest Twitter outburst clouded the timing over the anticipated U.S.military response against Syria to punish it for an alleged chemical attack on civilians over the weekend, following days where Trump had signalled such a move was imminent.


His apparent backpedalling may have been prompted by the widespread criticism that yesterday’s tweet ignored his own advice, in the years before he was president, where he publicly lambasted the Obama administration for tipping its hand ahead of military action.

Trump’s comments came as British and American officials met Thursday to further discuss a response to Saturday’s alleged chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma, which observers say killed dozens and affected hundreds of others.

READ MORE: Trump wants to send Assad a message – but his options are all bad

British Prime Minister Theresa May called ministers to an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss the British response, although it was unclear whether she would seek parliamentary approval for a strike. Citing unnamed sources, the BBC reported that May was prepared to act without seeking the consent of lawmakers, despite calls from the opposition of members of her own party to put the issue before parliament.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday that his government had proof that Syria had used chemicals – “at least chlorine” – in the attack on Douma, a town in Eastern Ghouta, just outside the capital Damascus.

Asked if France would join in the military response against Syria for the attack, he said: "We will need to take decisions in due course, when we judge it most useful and effective.

He continued: "France will not allow any escalation that could harm the stability of the region as a whole, but we can't let regimes that think they can do everything they want, including the worst things that violate international law, to act."


The comments came as the Russian military claimed Thursday that Syrian forces had taken control of Douma. If confirmed, the victory would mark the return of the key rebel stronghold of Eastern Ghouta to complete government control after more than five years of fighting rebel forces.

Douma was the last rebel-held town in Eastern Ghouta, a strategic pocket on the fringe of Damascus that was once home to about 400,000 people, where more than 100,000 have fled in recent weeks amid a ferocious Syrian government assault.

Russian state media reported that Syrian troops had raised the government’s flag over the town, in what Major-General Yuri Yevtushenko, head of the Russian military mission in Syria, called “a landmark event.”

“The raised state flag over a building in the town of Douma… has heralded the control over this area and therefore over the whole Eastern Ghouta.”

The military said Russian military police had been deployed to the town to provide law and order. Syrian state media announced Sunday that the Islamist rebel group in Douma had agreed to evacuate, but has not yet officially announced its capture of the town.

Cover image: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, in the Oval Office at the White House, on April 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. President Trump has announced that he canceled his upcoming trip to the 8th annual Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru. Credit: Mark Wilson / Pool via CNP - NO WIRE SERVICE - Photo by: Mark Wilson/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images