Skip to main content

Trump now admits he wanted to kill Syria's Assad but Mattis stopped him

"I would've rather taken him out. I had him all set," President Donald Trump said of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump waits to speak at a roundtable rally with Latino supporters at the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona on September 14, 2020. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Contradicting his past claims that assassinating Syria's president was "never discussed," US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he wanted to have Bashar al-Assad killed following a suspected chemical weapons attack, but former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis wouldn't let him. 

"I had him all set. Mattis didn't want to do it," Trump told Fox News, adding that he didn't regret not killing Assad but would have "rather taken him out."

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.