By Mark Sumner
Tuesday Apr 04, 2017 · 9:05 AM EDT
Just days ago, Donald Trump announced that the U.S. no longer had any problem with the regime of Syrian president, and Russian ally, Bashar Assad.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the U.S. approach was being driven by a new "reality" and that Assad's future had to be a decision for the Syrian people. Similar statements were made earlier by U.S. Cabinet members speaking in Ankara, London and at the United Nations.
Yes, Syrian people, like the thousands who died in Aleppo under withering artillery and constant bombing, will just have to vote Assad out at the next completely fair and free elections.
Now Assad has a nice thank you for Trump.
Airstrikes hit the city of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, giving off a "poisonous gas," according to Anas al-Diab, an activist with the Aleppo Media Center.
The casualties reportedly came as a result of asphyxiation caused by exposure to an unknown gas or chemical agent.
After a poison gas attack in 2013, President Obama went to congress with a request of military action against Syria. In response, Assad supposedly handed control of his chemical arsenal to his Russian allies. With Trump officially taking action against Assad off the table, the Syrian strongman apparently feels free to open up the gas vaults—or Putin did it for him.
The attack is seen as a test to the Trump regime. With Rex Tillerson missing in action, the State Department intentionally gutted, and a series of signals that the United States no longer puts the least value on human rights, authoritarian rulers every where are reading the signals that they are free to use whatever means they want to hold onto power.
Right now, hundreds of people in Syria are choking on an unknown chemical agent as part of Trump's test. And as a bonus question, there's now been an strike on the hospital where the gassing victims are being treated.