On Tuesday, Syria reportedly experienced its deadliest chemical weapons attack since 2013, which came in the form of an airstrike in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun in the province of Idlib. The attack killed at least 58 Syrians, including women and children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The New York Times reports that several locals also witnessed a second airstrike hitting one of the clinics that was treating victims and pregnant women.
The White House moved quickly to condemn the attacks with Press Secretary Sean Spicer telling reporters (during a closed press gaggle) that attacks cannot go ignored. However, he also blamed the “weakness” of the Obama administration in dealing with such threats. According to CNN:
“Today’s chemical attack in Syria against innocent people including women and children is reprehensible and cannot be ignored by the civilized world. These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution. President Obama said in 2012 he would establish a red line against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing. The United States stands with our allies across the globe to condemn this intolerable act.”
France also responded to news of the attack by calling for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council while President Recep Tayyip of Turkey condemned and blamed Syria for the attacks.
In 2013, Syria agreed to destroy its chemical weapons stockpiles. Today’s reports indicate that sarin (an extremely potent nerve agent) was used in Tuesday’s attack. This is the first major chemical attack in Syria since President Trump took office. Here’s how he felt about the subject in 2013, as expressed on Twitter.