Syria's President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with Croatian newspaper Vecernji List in Damascus, Syria, in this handout picture provided by SANA on April 6, 2017. SANA/Handout via REUTERS
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Although Assad can count on the backing of his top allies, Russia and Iran, the attack has revived international outrage at a time when U.S. President Donald Trump is still formulating his policy on Syria.On a visit to Turkey last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Assad's future was up to the Syrian people to decide, while Nikki Haley, the American ambassador to the United Nations, said the United States isn't ruling out cooperation with Assad to defeat Daesh (ISIS).Trump's condemnation of Tuesday's attack has been surprisingly strong, even if he did not give any clear indication about how the U.S. might respond.Trump has not drawn a public "red line" concerning chemical weapons, as his predecessor did, and he spoke out against military action against Assad before his presidency.Trump said Obama's "weakness" after the 2013 chemical attack was also to blame for Tuesday's assault.The attack has caused sparring between the U.S. and Russia over who was responsible.Assad, he wrote in an op-ed Wednesday, knows he is unlikely to pay a major price for Tuesday's deadly attack.
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