White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday that "all options are on the table" with Syria after Saturday's chemical weapons attack by President Bashar al-Assad's regime that killed as many as 40 people.
"The president's been working with our partners and allies and our national security team to look at all options," Sanders said at the daily briefing. "As we've said, all options are on the table."
President Donald Trump canceled his trip to Peru this week to meet with leaders of Latin American countries after Syrian relief groups said at least 60 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured in Saturday's suspected chemical attack on Douma, which still was occupied by rebel forces.
Assad's government and its ally, Russia, have said no evidence existed that a gas attack had occurred and dismissed the claim as bogus.
"The president and his national security team felt it was best he stay in the United States while all of these developments are taking place," Sanders said.
Trump on Sunday condemned the "mindless chemical attack" in Syria, calling Assad an "animal" and warning of a "big price to pay" for his resorting to the outlawed weapons of mass destruction.
Syria's state-run news agency reported Monday a missile attack at an air base in Homs province and labeled it a "likely" U.S. aggression, which the Pentagon quickly denied.
President Trump said last week he would like to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria within six months, but later agreed in a National Security Council meeting to keep them there longer, The Washington Post reported.
However, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Sunday that Trump's withdrawal comments emboldened Assad to allegedly use the weapons.
"President Trump last week signaled to the world that the United States would prematurely withdraw from Syria," McCain said in a statement.
"Bashar Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers have heard him, and emboldened by American inaction, Assad has reportedly launched another chemical attack against innocent men, women, and children."
Sanders said Tuesday that Trump was working with other global leaders on how to respond to the attack, adding "I think everyone around the world can see why these recent attacks are so horrific."
Newsmax wires contributed to this report.
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