Executive Intelligence Review


Mattis Says U.S. Military Still Assessing Intelligence on Alleged Chemical Attack

April 11, 2018 (EIRNS)—Secretary of Defense James Mattis is at the very least expressing caution about the possibility of U.S. military strikes in Syria in the wake of the hysteria over the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma on April 7. Today, during a brief press appearance with Netherlands Minister of Defense Ank Bijleveld, Mattis refused to blame the Assad government of Syria for the alleged chemical attack.

“We’re still assessing the intelligence ourselves, and our allies. We’re still working on this,” he said. As for whether or not the U.S. military is ready for action in Syria, he said: “We stand ready to provide military options if they’re appropriate, as the President determines.”

According to a report in Politico, Mattis has been pushing President Donald Trump and his advisors to look beyond the “spray and pray” approach of cruise missile attacks to consider what the U.S. is trying to achieve in Syria and whether it has a plan to achieve those aims.

“Mattis will not want a strike if it doesn’t combine with an overall strategy toward Syria, which this administration does not have,” James Jeffrey, who was ambassador to Iraq at the time that Mattis was head of U.S. Central Command, told Politico. Jeffrey also said that he thinks Mattis is worried about losing focus on North Korea, which could result from an attack Syria.