Trump, whose administration had indicated that it was prepared for Syrian President Bashar Assad to remain in power, said that the use of chemical weapons “crossed many, many lines, beyond a red line.”
“I will tell you it’s already happened that my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much,” Trump said Wednesday. “What happened yesterday is unacceptable to me.”
“Anyone who uses chemical weapons to attack his own people shows a fundamental disregard for human decency and must be held accountable,” Trump said.
Before he became president, however, Trump repeatedly said that former President Barack Obama and the United States should avoid becoming involved in the Syrian civil conflict, which began in 2011, has killed about 400,000 Syrians and left an estimated 11 million displaced.
Trump argued that the United States should leave the fighting to Syria’s Arab neighbors and spend its money at home. He also railed against allowing Syrian refugees into the country and said the United States should not arm the moderate rebels who were fighting against Assad.