Trump: 'We're not going into Syria'

President Trump said Tuesday the U.S. will not launch a full-scale war in Syria, seeking to ease concerns that last week’s missile strike could escalate American involvement in that country’s civil war.
 
“We’re not going into Syria,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business Network.
 
Trump suggested his decision last week to launch 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian air base used in a sarin gas attack was purely intended to curb Syrian leader Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own people.
 
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“But when I see people using horrible, horrible chemical weapons – which they agreed not to use under the Obama administration, but they violated it,” the president said.
 
“What I did should have been done with the Obama administration long before I did it. And you would have had a much better — I think Syria would be a lot better off right now than it has been.”
 
The president made no mention of the fact he repeatedly urged Obama against military intervention in Syria as a private citizen. He has previously said the horrific images of the victims of Syria's most recent gas attack was behind his change of heart. 
 
Trump’s comments come amid swirling questions about the direction of his strategy on Syria.
 
Some top officials, including U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, have pointed toward an aggressive American effort to remove Assad from power.
 
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and others have previously said that the Syrian people will decide Assad’s fate, emphasizing that the focus in the country remains on defeating Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants.
 
The White House has also ramped up pressure on Russia to abandon its support for the Syrian leader. 
 
Officials on Tuesday accused Moscow of attempting to “cover up” the Syrian government’s involvement in the attack, releasing a four-page intelligence report saying the U.S. is “confident” the Assad regime was behind the deadly strike.
 
The comments came after Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested without offering evidence that the U.S. might stage a fake chemical attack as pretext to launch additional military strikes against Syria.