President Trump cancels South America visit to monitor US response to Syria
US President Donald Trump has cancelled a trip to South America which was scheduled to begin on Friday, April 13, to monitor America's response to Syria and developments across the globe, the White House informed on Tuesday, April 10.
Vice President Mike Pence would attend the summit in Peru's capital Lima instead of Trump who was supposed to visit the South American continent for the first time since taking over, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.
Pence will not be replacing Trump, however, to visit Colombia where the latter was scheduled to meet President Juan Manuel Santos. That event also stood cancelled.
Pence visited Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Panama in August 2017.
Trump, who was extremely happy over the Federal Bureau of Investigation's raid in his attorney Michael Cohen's office and called it a "disgraceful situation", was also contemplating a response to the alleged chemical attack in Syria on Saturday, April 7, which killed several dozen people besides injuring many others.
The US president has already met with his generals and also had a talk to foreign counterparts like French President Emmanuel Macron over the issue and told the media that a decision was imminent.
If Trump orders a strike, it would not be the first time. Exactly a year ago in 2017, he approved strikes on a Syrian airfield in retaliation for another chemical weapon attack though the action did not last more than a few hours. This time, however, Trump has shown more aggression and even held Vladimir Putin responsible for backing "Animal" Bashar al-Assad.
The alleged chemical attack, which affected women and children among others, was carried out to free Douma in the suburbs of Damascus of the occupation of the rebels. It remains the last stronghold of the anti-regime forces in Syria.
The state-run media in the war-ravaged West Asian country also brought allegations a couple of days after the alleged chemical attack that the US had likely carried out a missile strike at one of Syria's air bases in the Homs province, a charge which Pentagon denied.