WASHINGTON -- Today, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and other top military brass will brief Congress on last week's Syrian strikes. Meanwhile, President Trump has decided against imposing new economic sanctions against Russia over the suspected chemical weapons attack in the country.
President Trump, reversing course, said yesterday he is NOT in favor of new sanctions on Russia for its support of Syria...at least not yet. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, in a statement, that -quote- "a decision will be made in the near future." She then elaborated while speaking with reporters on Air Force One.
"The President has been clear that he's going to be tough on Russia, but at the same time he'd still like to have a good relationship with them."
On Sunday, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley indicated new actions on Russia were imminent. "You will see that Russian sanctions will be coming down."
And back on Friday, while announcing the strikes on Syria, president Trump insisted Moscow had a choice to make.
"Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path or if it will join with civilized nations as a force of stability and peace."
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are raising concern about the sudden backtrack.
"We're going to have to get serious about sanctions against Russia and it's not a good sign walking back statements made just a couple of days ago," said Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ).
The House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Democrat Eliot Engel, in a statement, also blasted the move writing -quote-, "This sends a message to governments around the world that they can support brutal, criminal behavior without serious consequences."
Syrian state-run television has reported that the country's defenses have confronted a new "aggression," shooting down missiles early Tuesday over the central Homs region. It didn't say who carried out the airstrikes.
(Hena Doba, CBS News)
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