WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US President Donald Trump believes that Russia and Iran have been engaged in the Syrian crisis because of former US President Barack Obama's lack of determination.
"He [Obama] said 'you never going to do it, don't ever violate the 'red line'. They have violated the red line, he did nothing, so Russia went in and Iran went in," Trump said at a rally in US state of Florida.
Obama's "red line" back in 2012 was a threat to use force against Damascus if it uses chemical weapons against the population, a claim repeatedly denied by the Syrian government. Washington from that moment has never engaged directly in the conflict and the Obama administration agreed upon Russia's proposal to resolve the issue peacefully by ensuring that Damascus destroyed all the chemical weapons it had.
Comparing with Obama's policy regarding Syria, Trump noted that his administration was more decisive and provided the example of the US response to the chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun, the Idlib province, on April 4, which killed 80 people. Reacting to the incident, Washington, which had not presented any proof of chemical weapon use by Damascus it had immediately blamed for the attack, launched 59 cruise missiles at the Syrian governmental military airfield in Ash Sha'irat on April 7.
On Conflicts With NATO Member-States
"I said you gotta pay… and I took a hit from the press, they said 'Donald Trump was rude to our allies.' Well, they are rude to us, when they don't pay. So, we have a nation that does not pay, then a nation gets frisky with whoever, Russia, [for example]… the nation gets aggressive, we end up in World War III for somebody that does not even pay," Trump said at the rally.
The issue of NATO’s funding has been raised repeatedly by Trump’s administration, which stressed that all the alliance's members should respect their NATO budget responsibilities. According to the NATO 2014 Wales Summit Declaration, the alliance member states should pursue the target of spending 2 percent of their GDP to funding NATO within a decade. At the moment, only five countries — Estonia, Greece, Poland, the United States and the United Kingdom — have met the standards.
NATO has been boosting its presence in Eastern Europe and the Baltic region since the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014, citing Russia's alleged interference in the conflict as a justification for the move. Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement in the crisis, saying NATO's actions have a destabilizing character.
On Sanctions Against North Korea
US President Donald Trump said he was not sure whether the sanctions against Pyongyang could solve the North Korean nuclear crisis.
"We gotta give it a shot. You know, we'll see. Who knows? I'll just tell you, folks, you are in good hands. That's all I can say," Trump said.
Previously, Trump has hinted at a possible military option with regard to North Korea, however, his administration officials, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Pentagon chief James Mattis, have emphasized that Washington still counted on diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis on the Korean Peninsula.
In late November, Pyongyang launched yet another ballistic missile, the Hwasong-15 ICBM, capable of reaching targets throughout the United States, after Trump designated the Asian nation as a state sponsor of terrorism.