Robert Ford, the last American to serve as the US ambassador to Syria, said that despite Thursday’s missile strikes ordered by President Trump against an Assad regime’s airbase following a chemical weapons attack, Bashar Al-Assad will continue to test the US with another chemical attack.
“I think the strikes that we did last week on that airbase were very good,” Ford said on CBS This Morning on Monday. “It’s time to try to deter Assad from using chemical weapons, so I think that’s a good step. But it’s only a step. Assad will almost certainly try to use chemical weapons again, and so I think it will be hard to convince the Russians to lean on Assad to stop using chemical weapons.”
US Senator John McCain on Tuesday demanded the end of Assad’s “murderous rampage,” saying Moscow should cease its support for the regime.
“Bashar al-Assad must be stopped in this murderous rampage that continues,” McCain told reporters in Sarajevo during a tour of the Western Balkans.
Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that the Assad regime still possesses a chemical weapons capacity, urging measures to prevent Assad’s potential use of these weapons.
“According to the information at hand, the Assad regime still holds … the capacity to use chemical weapons,” said Çavuşoğlu in the Italian city of Lucca on April 11 after a meeting of like-minded countries over Syria that was held on the sidelines of the G-7 foreign ministers summit. The threat of chemical weapons will remain as long as Bashar al-Assad holds to power, he added.
Çavuşoğlu pointed out that there is an urgent need for a transitional government in Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)