Mattis does not rule out airstrike against Syria


WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the U.S. is not ruling out military airstrikes against Syria in response to the government's alleged use of toxic gas against civilians.

At a photo-taking session in the Pentagon before a meeting with the emir of Qatar today, Mattis said the Trump administration is consulting with allies in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere.

Asked by a reporter about a possible U.S. military response, Mattis said, "I don't rule out anything right now."

Mattis also said the "first thing" the administration is considering is why chemical weapons are being used at all in Syria. Russia was a guarantor of a deal the Obama administration struck in 2013 in which Syria was to have removed all of its chemical weapons.

Mattis added the administration will work with other countries to "address this issue."

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