A "disgraceful chapter in American history" Sen. John McCain slams President Trump for lenient Syrian regime policy https://t.co/yw6SYiktRT
— New Day (@NewDay) April 4, 2017
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) blasted inaction by the United States in Syria after a suspected chemical weapons attack left at least 100 dead in the northern Idlib province.
Activists and media reports say 400 were injured and that a hospital was then hit with an airstrike after the suspected gas attack.
"It is another disgraceful chapter in American history and it was predictable," McCain told CNN on Tuesday morning.
In a statement, he specifically called out Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for saying last week that the Syrian people would determine their own fate.
Just days after Secretary of State Tillerson said the Syrian people themselves would decide the future of their country, Syrian warplanes reportedly launched a chemical attack on an opposition-held town in northern Syria, killing at least 58 people, including 11 children. The initial strike was followed by rocket attacks on clinics treating the wounded.
With President Obama’s ‘red line’ far in the rear-view mirror, Assad believes he can commit war crimes with impunity. The question that confronts the United States now is whether we will take any action to disabuse him of this murderous notion.
Aided and abetted by Putin’s Russia, the Iranian regime, and its terrorist proxies, Assad will resort to any form of butchery he believes necessary to preserve his dictatorship, from chemical weapons to barrel bombs to torture chambers like Saydnaya prison. In case it was not already painfully obvious: the notion that the Syrian people would be able to decide the fate of Assad or the future of their country under these conditions is an absurd fiction. The recent statements by U.S. officials suggesting otherwise only serve to legitimize the actions of this war criminal in Damascus.
It was the third claim of a chemical attack in just over a week in Syria. The previous two were reported in Hama province, in an area not far from Khan Sheikhoun, the site of Tuesday's alleged attack.
"Bashar al-Assad and his friends, the Russians, take note of what Americans say. I'm sure they are encouraged to know the United States is withdrawing and seeking a new arrangement with the Russians," said McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said off-camera that the attack against innocent people is "reprehensible" and a consequence of the Obama administration's "weakness."
McCain said "we've seen this movie before" when Barack Obama stated there was a "red line" on chemical weapons, but did nothing after the Aug. 2013 attack by the Assad regime in Ghouta.
He said Tillerson's recent statement is "one of the most incredible statements I've ever heard."
Watch the latest report from "Happening Now" below.