Rubio: No coincidence that chemical attack followed Tillerson comments on Assad

Rubio: No coincidence that chemical attack followed Tillerson comments on Assad
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Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioBush ethics lawyer: Congress must tell Trump not to fire Mueller The private alternative to the National Flood Insurance Program  Cruz offers bill to weaken labor board's power MORE (R-Fla.) on Wednesday said it was no coincidence that a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria followed comments Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made suggesting that Syrian President Bashar Assad can remain in power.

"In this case now, we have very limited options, and look, it's concerning that the secretary of State ... said that the future's up to the people in Syria on what happens with Assad," Rubio said on the radio show "AM Tampa Bay." "In essence, [Tillerson was] almost nodding to the idea that Assad was gonna get to stay in some capacity."
  
"I don't think it's a coincidence that a few days later we see this," Rubio added during the interview, which was first reported by CNN.
 
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Tillerson said at a joint news conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevut Cavusoglu last week that "the longer-term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people."
 
Many human rights and anti-Assad advocates interpreted that statement to mean that the U.S. would not work to oust the authoritarian ruler. 
 
On Tuesday, a suspected chemical weapons attack that activists and eyewitnesses said was carried out by Assad's government killed at least 70 civilians, including numerous children, in Syria's northern Idlib Province.
 
The United Nations Security Council convened an emergency meeting on Wednesday morning to discuss the attack, the worst chemical strike in Syria in years.
 
Rubio's comments on Wednesday are not his first such jabs at Tillerson's position on Syria. The two sparred over the ongoing crisis during Tillerson's confirmation in January, with Rubio blasting the former Exxon Mobil CEO for not declaring Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal because of his continued support for Assad.
 
Nevertheless, Rubio voted to confirm Tillerson, arguing that while he had "reservations" about the nomination, delaying confirmation was against U.S. interests.