Washington, April 12: The United States on Tuesday strictly said that US military policy in Syria has not changed and emphasized that its priority is the defeat of the Islamic State militant group. Notably, after the recent gas attack in Syria, the United States is not in the mode to ease its military actions and will continue to do heavy bombarding in order to eradicate Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization.
Speaking at his first news conference since last week's US missile attack on a Syrian airbase Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said, “US military's policy in Syria has not changed and emphasized that its priority is the defeat of the Islamic State militant group.”
"The goal right now in Syria and the military campaign is focused on accomplishing that, is breaking ISIS, destroying ISIS in Syria," Mattis said at a Pentagon press briefing, targeting Islamic State. He added that there was no doubt that the Syrian government was responsible for a poison gas attack and it had used chemical weapons several times in the past.
Mattis further said that Washington had determined that a measured military response could best deter the Syrian regime from using chemical weapons again. He warned that Syria will pay a very stiff price for any future use of chemical weapons. “The Syrian government would be ill-advised ever again to use chemical weapons,” Mattis added.
Notably, a week before 58 people were killed and 60 others were injured in the chemical attack on the rebel-held Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun. However, it was not clear that chemical attack is either done by the Syrian government or Russian jets despite the ban. After this chemical attack, United States launched 50 to 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Shayrat Airfield where the warplanes that carried out the chemical attacks. In US action, 6 were killed.
Later, Iran and Russia extended their full support to the Syrian government and stated US actions were wrong as it only violated Syrian sovereignty but failed to boost the morale of "terror groups" in Syria. However, US and UK have come together to persuade and pressurize Russia into abandoning support for Syrian leader, Bashar al-Assad. Interestingly, Syria denied involvement in the chemical weapons attack on an opposition-held territory.