Families bused out of chemical attack city

At least 48 people died in a chemical attack in Douma, Syria, according to several Syrian activist groups. CNN's Fred Pleitgen has the latest.

Posted: Apr 10, 2018 3:00 AM
Updated: Apr 10, 2018 3:15 AM

Republican Sen. John McCain said Sunday that President Donald Trump's comments that the US military would leave Syria "very soon" had emboldened Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, resulting in the reported chemical weapons attack Saturday that killed dozens of the country's civilians.

"President Trump last week signaled to the world that the United States would prematurely withdraw from Syria," the Arizona senator said in a statement. "Bashar Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers have heard him, and emboldened by American inaction, Assad has reportedly launched another chemical attack against innocent men, women and children, this time in Douma."

The statement from the hawkish chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee came hours after Trump tweeted that there would be a "big price to pay" for an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria. Trump's tweets pinned blame for the situation there on Russian President Vladimir Putin's support for Assad and former US President Barack Obama's past policy in the war-torn nation.

Syrian activist groups on Saturday said toxic gas inside barrel bombs dropped from helicopters over a rebel-held city in Syria killed dozens of civilians and wounded scores more. Syrian state news said an "official source" denied the allegations.

McCain approved of Trump's decision last year to launch a missile strike on a Syrian airfield in response to another alleged chemical weapons attack and called on the President to do the same this year.

"He should do so again, and demonstrate that Assad will pay a price for his war crimes," his statement said.

In a nod to Trump's disapproval of Obama, McCain also said Trump had "inherited bad options after years of inaction by his predecessor."

Trump said late last month that the US would "be coming out of Syria like very soon," although a top general said Thursday that Trump had not yet given a timeline for such a move.

Lawmakers sound off

Several lawmakers reacted Sunday to the alleged use of chemical weapons by Assad's forces and the President's tweets.

House Speaker Paul Ryan issued a statement on Twitter condemning the attack and calling for the US to lead "an international effort to hold the Assad regime and Russia accountable for their actions."

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, of Connecticut, took issue with Ryan's tweet as overly vague and said Congress must exercise its power to authorize war.

"I have no idea what this means," Murphy tweeted in response to Ryan. "These are the kind of empty words that makes Congress irrelevant on foreign policy."

"The chemical attacks ARE horrible. But if you support military action, then Congress needs to authorize it," he added. "Just continuing tacit congressional support for existing policy -- more unauthorized troops but zero diplomatic or humanitarian strategy -- is part of the problem."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that the attack, if confirmed, "would be a war crime of staggering inhumanity." She called for international unity and "a thorough investigation," adding that members of Congress expected a comprehensive briefing on the matter.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who along with McCain is one of the GOP's leading proponents of further US intervention in Syria, advocated for a significant ramp up in anti-Assad actions.

"To me, I would destroy Assad's air force," the South Carolina Republican said on ABC's "This Week." "I would create safe zones in Syria where people can come back to their country from the surrounding area and live a better life. Train up Syrians to take on Assad so we can negotiate in Geneva from a position of strength."

Graham called on the President to "follow through with that tweet," claiming inaction would weaken the United States' hand on the international stage.

Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins called the attack "horrific" in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday morning, adding that Trump would have to rethink his stated desire to withdraw from Syria.

"The President is going to have to reconsider his plan for an early withdrawal in light of what has happened," Collins said.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 697182

Reported Deaths: 8169
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1427711862
Ramsey59431953
Dakota53075503
Anoka48987486
Washington31228315
Stearns25428242
St. Louis20900339
Scott20039146
Wright18954165
Olmsted16269112
Sherburne13840106
Carver1237052
Clay936897
Rice9278125
Blue Earth888747
Crow Wing8070102
Kandiyohi753292
Chisago733858
Otter Tail689897
Benton6653102
Mower576238
Winona564852
Goodhue560581
Douglas549484
Beltrami534672
Itasca532572
Steele520221
McLeod519665
Isanti500470
Morrison478263
Nobles455650
Becker455060
Polk444575
Freeborn438142
Lyon402454
Carlton399160
Nicollet387848
Pine384026
Mille Lacs363860
Brown358244
Cass355536
Le Sueur348230
Todd333034
Meeker314049
Waseca297626
Martin271633
Wabasha25005
Dodge24865
Hubbard241941
Roseau238224
Houston211217
Redwood206642
Fillmore204510
Renville204248
Pennington196022
Wadena192927
Faribault184925
Sibley180310
Cottonwood179424
Chippewa173439
Kanabec168329
Aitkin159239
Watonwan157211
Rock142919
Jackson136112
Pope13378
Yellow Medicine128720
Pipestone126126
Koochiching125119
Swift120319
Murray117610
Stevens110011
Clearwater109218
Marshall107619
Lake94321
Wilkin91014
Lac qui Parle89424
Mahnomen7339
Big Stone7024
Grant6938
Norman6829
Lincoln6724
Kittson54222
Unassigned52893
Red Lake5067
Traverse4375
Lake of the Woods4204
Cook2150

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 443535

Reported Deaths: 6420
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk69441683
Linn26618363
Scott23312265
Black Hawk19397338
Woodbury17483233
Johnson1698692
Dubuque14775221
Pottawattamie13369186
Dallas13048102
Story1211448
Warren707893
Webster6479103
Cerro Gordo6370105
Clinton635898
Des Moines618084
Muscatine5985109
Marshall586981
Sioux547676
Jasper532076
Lee529084
Wapello5230128
Unassigned50150
Buena Vista479442
Marion464086
Plymouth442185
Henry351341
Jones341159
Bremer331365
Washington330454
Crawford326844
Carroll326553
Benton325756
Boone318636
Mahaska282754
Dickinson276547
Kossuth257471
Clay255629
Jackson253844
Tama246073
Hardin244547
Buchanan244238
Delaware240143
Cedar228025
Fayette227945
Page225724
Wright221741
Winneshiek219237
Hamilton216752
Harrison205476
Madison199920
Clayton199758
Floyd195742
Butler191936
Poweshiek188837
Mills188225
Iowa185927
Cherokee184740
Allamakee181152
Jefferson178238
Lyon178041
Calhoun172213
Hancock170336
Winnebago170131
Cass164356
Louisa161651
Grundy161335
Appanoose158149
Shelby156539
Emmet153241
Franklin152224
Humboldt151626
Union149937
Sac147922
Mitchell146143
Guthrie142132
Chickasaw141618
Palo Alto134527
Clarke130226
Montgomery127940
Keokuk121332
Monroe118733
Howard118422
Ida109838
Davis105025
Greene103012
Pocahontas102623
Monona99034
Lucas98523
Adair97734
Worth9558
Osceola84717
Decatur76710
Fremont76511
Van Buren75221
Taylor73412
Wayne66323
Ringgold63027
Audubon60114
Adams4254
Rochester
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 76°
Mason City
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 81°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 81°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 80°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
82° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 82°
Warmup ahead of workweek
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events