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Rubio: Assad’s gas attack “no coincidence” [updated]

I was about to suggest that this might not be outside the realm of possibility. But Republican Senator Marco Rubio was a lot blunter.

“In this case now, we have very limited options and look, it’s concerning that the secretary of state, 72 hours ago or a week ago, last Friday, said that the future’s up to the people in Syria on what happens with Assad. In essence almost nodding to the idea that Assad was gonna get to stay in some capacity,” Rubio said on the show “AM Tampa Bay.”

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that a few days later we see this,” Rubio concluded.

Dozens died in an attack on Tuesday that activists said was committed by Assad’s regime. The U.S. has also placed blame on Assad for the attack. Last week in Turkey, Tillerson said, “I think the status and the longer-term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people.”

In an interview with The Failing New York Times, Trump called the chemical attack, which killed dozens of children, “an affront to humanity.”

Asked about what it meant for Russia’s role in terms of Syria, Mr. Trump said, “I think it’s a very sad day for Russia because they’re aligned, and in this case, all information points to Syria that they did this. Why they did this, who knows? That’s a level first of all they weren’t supposed to have this.”

Mr. Trump again pointed to President Barack Obama for drawing “the red line in the sand, and it was immediately violated, and it did nothing,” and he suggested reporters won’t focus on it.

Yes, Obama deserves to be called out on his “red line” fiasco. But “a very sad day for Russia”? It’s remarkable how restrained Trump continues to be in discussing the Putin regime– which has bizarrely blamed anti-Assad rebels for the chemical attack.

Trump needs to be reminded once again that Obama is no longer president of the United States. He is. And when it comes to Syria– and Russia– the ball is now in his court.

Update:

Prediction: The Russians won’t rethink their support for Assad. And the Trump administration won’t do a thing about it.

Further update: The second half of my prediction was wrong. The US has launched cruise missiles at a Syrian military airfield in retaliation for the gas attack on civilians.

Quite a shift.