US President Donald Trump , Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri meet in White House, urge fighting against terrorism

July 26, 2017 3:27 am

President holds a conference with Prime Minister of Saad Hariri in the Rose Garden at the on July 25, 2017 in Washington,DC. (Photo by AFP)

US President Donald Trump and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri have met in the White House, discussing a range of issues including the so-called fight against terrorism, Syrian refugees and humanitarian aid.
In their first bilateral meeting on Tuesday, the two leaders vowed to work against terrorism by Daesh (ISIL) and other militant groups, with Hariri saying that he hoped the anti-terrorism partnership between Beirut and Washington would continue until all terrorists were defeated.
In response, Trump praised the Lebanese army for keeping the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group and other extremists from gaining a foothold in the country, saying, “Ultimately you will win … we have great confidence in you.”
The Lebanese prime minister also touched on the issue of Syrian refugees, noting that the number of Syrians, who had been displaced due to the presence of Daesh and other militant groups in their homeland, stood at around 1.5 million, accounting for one quarter of Lebanon’s population of about 6 million people.
The US president, for his part, said supporting the humanitarian needs of Syrian refugees as close to their home country as possible was the best way to help them.

Syrian refugees are seen on the back of a pick up truck in the Lebanese eastern border town of Arsal as they head towards the Syrian region of Qalamoun on July 12, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

During the meeting, Trump further reiterated his accusations against the Syrian government, blaming President Bashar al-Assad for alleged use of chemical weapons.
“I’m not a fan of Assad. I certainly think that what he’s done to that country and to humanity is horrible,” Trump said. “I am not somebody that will stand by and let him get away with what he tried to do.” 
This is while the Syrian government has fiercely denied using or even possessing chemical weapons and the country’s compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention was certified by international observers in 2013. 
The Syrian stockpiles of chemical weapons were surrendered in a joint mission comprising representatives of the United Nations (UN) and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in 2014.

A Syrian man receives treatment at a small hospital in the town of Maaret al-Noman following a suspected toxic gas attack in Khan Shaykhun, a nearby militant-held town in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, on April 4, 2017.  (Photo by AFP)

In a unilateral move on April 7, the US military decided to target the Syrian army directly by firing 59 Tomahawk missiles at al-Shayrat airbase in Homs province in western Syria.
Trump said he had ordered the strike in response to the April 4 chemical attack in the Arab country that he blamed on the Syrian government.
The US military claimed the airfield targeted was used to store chemical weapons and Syrian aircraft. Damascus denounced the US assault as a “blatant aggression” that killed up to 15 people, including civilians, and caused “significant material damage.”
Washington has not provided any evidence to support the accusations, prompting criticisms from many countries and international intuitions for choosing to take unilateral military action hastily and without proof.
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