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Tuesday’s attack was undoubtedly a “war crime,” asserted British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, adding that it was “unbelievable” for parties responsible for truce negotiations to think that Assad could have any place in post-war Syria.
Johnson’s boss, Prime Minister Theresa May, even called for a probe into Tuesday’s attack.
"I'm appalled by the reports that there's been a chemical weapons attack on a town south of Idlib allegedly by the Syrian regime,” said May, adding:
We condemn the use of chemical weapons in all circumstances...
If proven, this will be further evidence of the barbarism of the Syrian regime, and the UK has led international efforts to call to account the Syrian regime and Daesh for the use of chemical weapons and I would urge the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to investigate this incident as soon as possible.
I'm very clear that there can be no future for Assad in a stable Syria which is representative of all the Syrian people and I call on all the third parties involved to ensure that we have a transition away from Assad.
We cannot allow this suffering to continue.
The French foreign minister shared his utter disgust after hearing reports of another chemical weapons attack.
“A new and particularly serious chemical attack took place this morning in Idlib province. The first information suggests a large number of victims, including children. I condemn this disgusting act,” stated Jean-Marc Ayrault.
In contrast, the U.S. administration struck a more ambivalent tone. Conceding that the Assad regime is a “political reality,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer blamed former President Obama’s “weakness” and feckless “redline” for Tuesday’s attack.
To be clear, Spicer is by no means wrong in his assessment that it was President Obama who allowed the Assad regime to continue slaughtering and gassing its way to victory. However, the Trump administration’s stated policies toward Assad appear to mirror Obama’s de facto Syria policy. Both the previous administration and the current administration have set out to work with the Russia, the primary state patron of the Assad regime, to fight ISIS forces in the region while allowing the butcher of Damascus to remain in power.