Sep 16 2020 - 11:27
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Trump says he had 'a shot' to 'take out' Assad, but does not regret decision

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday (September 15) the U.S. had an opportunity Lebanon, news ,lbci ,أخبار Syria, Assad, US,Trump,President Donald Trump said on Tuesday (September 15) the U.S. had an opportunity
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Trump says he had 'a shot' to 'take out' Assad, but does not regret decision
Lebanon News
President Donald Trump said on Tuesday (September 15) the U.S. had an opportunity to 'take out" Syrian leader Bashar al Assad but did not due to former Secretary of Defense James Mattis' opposition to the idea.

"I had a shot to take him (Assad) out if I wanted. And Mattis was against it. Mattis was against most of that stuff," Trump said during a phone interview with with the Fox News program "Fox and Friends"
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"I don't regret that. I could have lived either way with that, you know, I considered him (Assad) certainly not a good person," Trump said.

The interview, which focused heavily on the Middle East took place just hours before a White House ceremony where the the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain were to sign agreements normalizing relations with Israel in a strategic realignment of Middle Eastern countries against Iran.

Trump will host the White House ceremony at noon EDT (1600 GMT), capping a dramatic month when first the UAE and then Bahrain agreed to reverse decades of ill will without a resolution of Israel's decades-old dispute with the Palestinians.

At the U.S.-brokered ceremony, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will sign agreements with Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani.

The deals make them the third and fourth Arab states to take such steps to normalize ties since Israel signed peace treaties with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

The back-to-back agreements, which have drawn bitter condemnation from the Palestinians, mark an improbable diplomatic victory for Trump. He has spent his presidency forecasting deals on such intractable problems as North Korea's nuclear program only to find actual achievements elusive.

With Trump up for re-election on Nov. 3, the accords could help shore up support among pro-Israel Christian evangelical voters, an important part of his political base.

In a nod to the coronavirus that has hit the United States and the world, the White House is encouraging but not requiring the participants to wear masks. Though the mood of the ceremony is expected to be warm, it will be up to the leaders whether they want to shake hands, the official told reporters.
 
 
 
 
REUTERS
 
 
 
 
 
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