WASHINGTON, (BM) – The US president again contradicted his previous claims that such an attack had never been discussed, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Fox News and Bulgarian news agency Sega.
President Donald Trump announced that he was determined to assassinate Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad in 2017, but Defense Minister James Mathis stopped him. With this confession to Fox News, Trump again came into conflict with himself because he had previously denied having such intentions.
“I was going to have it removed, but Mathis didn’t want to do it,” Trump told Fox News today. He added that he did not regret it in the end, but used the opportunity to attack Mathis, whom he called “highly overrated” and “bad man”. The former Pentagon chief left the Trump administration last January and made no secret of his criticism of the president. “To me, he was a terrible general and a bad leader,” he said of his attitude toward his former minister, Trump.
The story of Assad’s planned assassination was told by renowned journalist Bob Woodward in his 2018 book on Trump [recently the premiere of a new book by him about the US president]. The issue comes after a severe chemical attack on civilians in April 2017, allegedly ordered by the Syrian government.
The United States then responded with rocket fire, but the targets were military. After the book was published, Trump denied what was written. “No, it has never been discussed, nor will it be discussed. And it should not have been in the book. It is all a complete fabrication,” he assured in September 2018, Bloomberg reminds.
The UN did not find Russia guilty for striking civilians in Syria
The UN in its new report, released on Monday, April 6, accused the Syrian government and its allies of carrying out armed attacks on civilian positions in Idlib province.
However, the document does not mention Russia, which is a key political and military ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, writes The Guardian.
The commission investigated seven armed attacks in Syria, targeting such facilities as hospitals and a school. In conclusion, she found that five of them were committed by the Syrian government and / or its allies. Nevertheless, Russia does not appear in the report as the organizer and culprit of air strikes on civilians.
It is reported that the human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) announced its dissatisfaction with the results of the UN report. According to the publication, the group expressed its disappointment at the refusal to call Russia responsible for the actions of the Syrian government.
The UN also registered the coordinates of all the sites that were targeted in its conflict resolution system; this information was transferred to the disposal of Moscow and other warring parties to prevent attacks, writes The Guardian.
Last month, a UN commission on Syria presented a report accusing the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) of delivering indiscriminate attacks on human settlements in Idlib, which is a war crime.
According to the commission, the actions of the Russian military violated the civil rights of the Syrians, including children, in areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces.
Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov, in turn, has denied all allegations from the commission.
War in Syria
In February, Turkey lost at least 62 troops killed in Syria, nearly 100 soldiers were wounded, dozens of Turkish armored vehicles were destroyed and more than ten drones, including drone, were shot down. Washington has repeatedly accused Moscow of involvement in the deaths of Turkish soldiers, Russia rejects these allegations.
In early March, the presidents of Russia and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, concluded an agreement according to which a ceasefire came into force in the Idlib de-escalation zone.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad later said that if the US and Turkish military did not leave the country, Damascus would be able to use force.
The reason for the Russian-Turkish negotiations was a sharp aggravation of the situation in Idlib, where in January a large-scale offensive by the Syrian army against the positions of the armed opposition and terrorists began.
Government forces recaptured nearly half of the Idlib de-escalation zone and left behind a number of Turkish observation posts. After that, Ankara sharply increased its military contingent in the region and launched the operation “Spring Shield” to push the Syrian troops. Turkey is also supported by militants loyal to it.
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