British Prime Minister Theresa May and US President #Donald Trump are in agreement about “a window of opportunity” to convince the Russian government to end its relationship with Bashar al-Assad, the President of #Syria, who is holding the country back from being rid of Islamic State terrorism and finding peace. As May and Trump see it, the first step towards ending the conflict in Syria is getting rid of Assad.
May supports Trump’s missile strike
May spoke out about her support for Trump’s missile strike on Syria, as he launched 60 Tomahawk missiles against Assad following the devastating chemical attack on a Syrian town.
The Russia/Assad discussion arose when Trump spoke to May on Monday evening to offer his thanks to her for speaking in support of his missile strike.
A spokesperson for Downing Street announced that May and Trump agreed they have a chance now “to persuade Russia that its alliance with Assad is no longer in its strategic interest,” but it won’t last forever; it’s just a “window” as of yet. According to the spokesperson, they’re eyeing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Moscow this week as the opening of this window, which they can use “to make progress towards a solution which will deliver a lasting political settlement.”
Trump also spoke with Angela Merkel
Navigating the ‘Merky’ waters of his relationship with the German Chancellor, Trump spoke to Angela Merkel about it. Rather than their usual jibing, this time they had a common belief to discuss, and that is “the importance of holding...Assad accountable” for the horrors taking place in Syria, according to a White House statement (which are always totally reliable)..
Last week, the Trump administration announced that, unfortunately, it had given up its ambitions of muscling Assad out of power, and is instead looking into other approaches towards the same endgame. Administration officials stress that the chemical attack, which killed at least 87 people (including over 30 children, like just imagine that, it’s horrifying), had a “profound effect” on Trump, leading him to seek ballistic vengeance and now pursuing a more strategic, long-term vendetta.
Tillerson isn’t just a scapegoat, by the way, unwittingly getting caught up in a May/Trump power play on his innocent trip to Moscow. He agrees that Assad and those of his ilk have “no role” in the Syrian government. When he visits Russia, his main goal will be persuading them to sack off their ties to Assad’s government.
US officials claim 20% of Syrian air force destroyed in missile strike
According to boasting US officials, Trump’s missile strike wiped out 20% of Syria’s working aircraft. Taking out the aircraft used to drop bombs was the main aim of the 60-missile strike, which was directed at Syria’s air base.
Defence Secretary James Mattis says that as a result of the strike, Assad’s regime has “lost the ability to refuel or re-arm aircraft at Shayrat airfield,” and the runway has also been rendered out of action. He added that the regime “would be ill-advised ever again to use chemical weapons.”
Apparently May and Trump also talked about “the broader Middle East” during their Monday evening conversation, with a particular focus on “the threat posed by Iran throughout the region.” Trump has a tricky history with Iran. He’s been very particular about pointing out his plans for Iran. May and Trump are both in agreement on “the importance of the international community,” with Trump dropping in his blossoming friendship with Chinese President Xi Jinping as a wicked brag. They want to rally this community together to put the heat on North Korea in order to “constrain the threat it poses.” #Theresa May