There’s mounting evidence that a chemical weapon attack took place in rebel-held Douma in Syria over the weekend. The United States and several of its allies are pointing the finger at the Assad regime, which had been engaged in a long and bloody military operation to dislodge rebels from Eastern Ghouta, a northeastern suburb of Damascus.
The chemical attack leaves President Trump in a compromised political position. Just weeks before, Trump had declared that he wanted US troops out of Syria during a news conference with Baltic States. Now he must respond to an attack that flaunts his own ‘red line,’ drawn nearly a year ago when he ordered the launch of cruise missiles at Syria’s Sharyat air base after reports of a chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun in Idlib.
Whatever President Trump’s ultimate response, one thing is clear: The Douma incident has decreased the odds of a sudden and comprehensive pullout of US troops in the near future.