Big Price To Pay For Syria Chemical Attack, Says Trump, But Denies Missile Strike On Syrian Air Base

| April 9 , 2018 , 13:54 IST

US President Donald Trump in a strong statement on Sunday after the death of 70 people in Syria's Douma in a suspected chemical attack outrightly blamed Russian President Vladimir specifically, Russia in general and Iran for supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the 'atrocity'.

Trump added that there would be a "big price to pay" for the chemical attack, but denied being responsible for the subsequent air strike on a Syrian Air Base.

“Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad," tweeted Trump.

"Big price to pay. Open area immediately for medical help and verification. Another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. SICK!,” he said.

Although the Syrian government and al-Assad's most powerful ally Russian President Putin called the reports of a chemical assault fake, on ground reports by aid groups found the deaths and injuries to be consistent with a chemical attack.

The 'White Helmets' a group of rescuers operating in opposition-held areas in Syria told Al Jazeera that chlorine gas and an unidentified but stronger gas are suspected of being dropped on Douma. The victims were found foaming at the mouth and nose, with most of the fatalities being women and children. Persons attempting to take refuge against air strikes in their basements or shelters were badly affected as well, when the unknown chemical agent seeped to the ground.

ALSO READ: At Least 70 Killed In Suspected Chemical Attack in Syria

After the attack on Saturday, Syrian state television reported loud explosions near an airfield in the city of Homs, which were suspected of being a US missile air strike. However, the Pentagon issued a statement denying any such attack.

“At this time, the Department of Defense is not conducting air strikes in Syria,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

“However, we continue to closely watch the situation and support the ongoing diplomatic efforts to hold those who use chemical weapons, in Syria and otherwise, accountable,” the statement said.

The attacks in Syria come barely 10 days after US President Trump indicated that US would be withdrawing from Syria soon, despite the Pentagon advising against a withdrawal from the conflicted nation.