President Trump has lunch with troops while visiting U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida in February 2017. File photo: AP/Susan Walsh
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — US President Donald Trump asked for a "Thank you" on Thursday, while tweeting that he never said "when" an attack in Syria will occur.
"Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all!" tweeted Trump on Thursday. "In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS.
"Where is our 'Thank you America?' "
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that they have "proof" that the Syrian regime was behind the chemical attack in Douma, AFP reported.
Macron spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel by telephone, and according to her office, she was concerned that the ability of the international community to enforce bans on the use of chemical weapons was eroding.
After meeting with Danish PM Lars Lokke Rasmussen in Berlin on Thursday, Merkel expressed wariness of unilateral US action if it's not supported by the international community.
"Germany will not — it hasn't made a decision, I want to make that clear again — participate in possible military actions," she said. "But we see and support everything that is done to signal that this use of chemical weapons is not acceptable."
Communication channels between the Russian and US militaries remain “active” in order to avoid losses to Russian personnel in case of US strikes, according to Russia’s presidential press secretary on Thursday.
“The line exists and it is in an active state,” Secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday including state news agency RIA Novosti. “In general, the line is being used on both sides.”
The UN Security Council is set to meet again on Thursday regarding alleged chemical attacks that killed 47 people on Saturday in what was the last Syrian regime opposition stronghold near Damascus. The Russian military and a conflict monitor reported rebel convoys departed for al-Bab and Jarabulus, the regime flag was raised, and the Syrian Arab Army was in control of Douma on Thursday.
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad received Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to the leader of the Islamic Revolution of Iran for international affairs on Thursday.
Both sides agreed “the threats of some Western countries to attack Syria, on the basis of fabricated lies and their tools from the terrorist organizations at home, came after the liberation of the Eastern Ghouta,” according to a summary of the meeting from Syria’s state-run SANA news agency.
“President al-Assad stressed that with every victory achieved in the field, the voices of some Western countries are rising and the movements are intensifying in an attempt to change the course of events, stressing that these voices and any possible moves will only contribute to further destabilization in the region, which threatens international peace and security,” according to the agency.
“For his part, Velayati said that [disturbing] the stability of Syria in one of the most important [aims] of terrorist wars, and determination of its people to victory — despite all the support, funding and external arming of this war, is a model to be followed for every people who could be subjected to such kind of wars, stressing that Iran was and will always be on Syrian side,” the summary added.
Trump had warned of unilateral strikes in Syria if the issue isn’t resolved through the United Nations.
“The intelligence provided certainly paints a different picture, and the President holds Syria and Russia responsible for this chemical weapons attack,” said White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders on Wednesday.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Donald Trump spoke about the issue on Wednesday night.
"Last night I spoke with Mr. Trump. Today I will speak with Mr. Putin. I will speak with him again about how to stop this chemical genocide,” Erdogan during a speech in Ankara on Thursday.
Following, Trump's tweet on Wednesday, the Kremlin encouraged all members of the global community to refrain from steps that would exacerbate the Syrian situation.
"Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!' You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!" Trump had tweeted.
Eurocontrol, Europe’s air traffic control agency, issued an alert for commercial airlines on Tuesday, warning that missiles may pose a threat this week over Syria. The skies over Syria quickly cleared of nearly all flight traffic.
Last updated at 3:49 p.m.