White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Monday the U.S. could carry out future military strikes against Syria if its government uses chemical weapons on its own citizens again.
“If you gas a baby, if you put a barrel bomb into innocent people, I think you will see a response from this president,” Spicer told reporters, according to The Hill.
His declaration comes amid growing questions about President Donald Trump’s strategy in Syria, after the U.S. last week fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base where a government forces are believed to have launched a sarin gas attack on civilians.
On Saturday, Trump sent a letter to Congress in which he explained his reasoning for ordering the missile strike, writing the strike was “in the vital national security and foreign policy interests of the United States”, and making clear that the U.S. “will take additional action, as necessary and appropriate, to further its important national interests.”
The strike left policymakers wondering what actions by Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad would trigger another military response from the United States and how far the administration might go to oust him from power.
"I can't imagine a stable and peaceful Syria where Assad is in power," Spicer said Monday when asked whether they Syrian president must go.
The comments are in line with the stance of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who told CNN on the weekend that until Assad is out of power, she does not see a political solution to the conflict in Syria.
Her remarks come a day after she warned that the United States was prepared to take further actions in Syria following a U.S. military strike against a Syrian air base.