— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 5, 2017
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is condemning the chemical attack in Syria that left 72 people dead as an “affront to humanity” that “cannot be tolerated.”
Trump made the comments at the start of a joint news conference with Jordanian King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein at the White House on Wednesday.
A suspected chemical attack in a town in Syria’s rebel-held northern Idlib province killed dozens of people on Tuesday in one of the worst attacks in the country’s six-year civil war. The Trump administration has blamed the attack on the government of President Bashar Assad.
Innocent people, including women small children “and even beautiful little babies” were killed, Trump said.
“These heinous actions by the Assad regime cannot be tolerated,” he added.
“This is happening on our watch, on our conscience,” Abdullah said.
Trump acknowledged Jordan’s role in hosting refugees from the conflict in Syria and announced that the U.S. will contribute more funds to the country for humanitarian assistance, saying that the goal of “any responsible refugee policy” is to pave the way for refugees to return home.
Trump also said that together the U.S. and Jordan will defeat ISIS, adding that the fight will be “shorter” than many people think.
“We will destroy ISIS and we will protect civilization, we have no choice,” Trump said.
Abdullah said he and President Trump had a “good round of talks,” and thanked the U.S. for their partnership and its “key” role in the fight against terrorism.
“Terrorism has no borders, no nationality, no religion,” Abdullah said, calling on other countries to help defeat the “international scourge.” “We should not expect the U.S. to do the heavy lifting, the heavy lifting has to be done by all of us in the international community.”
Trump met with the Jordanian leader Wednesday for the second time since the president’s inauguration.
“Working together the United States and Jordan can help bring peace and stability to the Middle East and in fact the entire world and we will do that,” Trump said.
There are questions as to whether Wednesday’s meeting can lead to the restarting of stalled Israeli-Palestinian talks.
At a summit last week, Arab leaders renewed an offer they made in 2002 — recognition of Israel by Arab nations in exchange for the creation of a Palestinian state. Abdullah told Trump that Arab leaders are serious about achieving a “historic reconciliation between Israel” and the Arab world.
“It is the most comprehensive framework for lasting peace and it ensures statehood for the Palestinians, but also security, acceptance and normal ties for Israel with all Arab countries and hopefully all Islamic countries,” Abdullah said.