Mattis: US Wants Proof Before Striking Syria for Chemical Attack

Mattis defies Trump on Syria. Is his job now in danger

Secretary of Defense James Mattis is at the very least expressing caution about the possibility of USA military strikes in Syria in the wake of the hysteria over the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma on April 7.

Mattis said that he has seen refugees from all over the world, including in Kosovo and Africa, he has never seen "refugees as traumatized as coming out of Syria".

At the United Nations, Syrian U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari told reporters that two teams of investigators from the global chemical weapons watchdog are due to arrive in Syria on Thursday and Friday to look into the Douma incident. When asked if he had seen enough evidence to blame Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for last weekend's alleged chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma, Mattis said, "We are still assessing the intelligence, ourselves and our allies".

"Some things are simply inexcusable, beyond the pale and in the worst interest of not just the chemical weapons convention but of civilization itself", Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee.

Earlier U.S. President Donald Trump announced about a coming missile attack in Syria.

"We stand ready to provide military options, if they're appropriate, as the president determined", Mattis said.

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The Pentagon is now working under war powers granted in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, even though operations across the Middle East have morphed broadly since those early days of seeking to destroy Al-Qaeda.

Last week, Trump said he wanted to pull out of the war-torn nation, but this week he has taunted Assad ally Russian Federation with boasts of an impending missile strike.

Mattis, who was addressing a hearing of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, would not discuss the USA military strategy process, but he did talk about the importance of defeating ISIS and protecting civilians in Syria.

The U.S., France and Britain have been in extensive consultations about launching a military strike as early as the end of this week, U.S. officials have said. "So how do we deal with this very complex situation?" "Could be very soon or not so soon at all!" Where is our "Thank you America?"

Later in the morning, the president said a decision on Syria will be made "fairly soon".

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