On Wednesday afternoon, the National Security Council convened in the White House, with President Donald Trump in the chair, to discuss how the United States would respond to Bashar al-Assad. Just a couple of hours earlier, in a press conference in the Rose Garden, Trump had denounced in strong terms the Tuesday chemical-weapons attack by Assad on the Syrian strongman’s own people. “I now have responsibility, and I will have that responsibility and carry it very proudly,” the president said.
The Pentagon’s plan, delivered by Defense Secretary (and former Central Command commander) James Mattis, at Wednesday’s NSC meeting: a hellfire of Tomahawk missiles on the airfield where Assad’s regime had launched the attack.
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