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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Marco Rubio condemns Putin, Assad for chemical attack in Syria

A photo provided on Tuesday by the Syrian anti-government activist group Edlib Media Center shows a man carrying a child at a makeshift hospital in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, northern Idlib province, in Syria after the chemical attack that killed dozens.

Edlib Media Center via AP

A photo provided on Tuesday by the Syrian anti-government activist group Edlib Media Center shows a man carrying a child at a makeshift hospital in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, northern Idlib province, in Syria after the chemical attack that killed dozens.

5

April

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio sent a series of tweets Wednesday morning condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar Assad for the chemical attack in northern Syria Tuesday that killed dozens.

Rubio and Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., will hold a news conference at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday to condemn the attack.

Rubio’s first tweet at 6:05 a.m. said, “The #Putin regime blatantly lies about #SyriaGasAttack Putin is an accomplice in this war crime committed by Assad.”

The attack, which may have included a nerve agent or other banned chemical, killed dozens of people, including children. Many of them died writhing, choking, gasping or foaming at the mouth, according to witnesses, doctors and rescue workers. 

Russian officials blamed Syrian rebels for the attack. The claim was strongly denied by a Syrian rebel commander. 

About 40 minutes after his first tweet, Rubio posted about emergency talks scheduled for Wednesday by the U.N. Security Council. He asked if China and Russia, two permanent members of the Security Council, would continue to support war crimes. 

Rubio also spoke with WFLA radio 970 on Wednesday morning about Syria, North Korea and other topics. You can listen to that here

In the interview, Rubio said it was no coincidence the attack in Syria came after comments Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made suggesting that Assad could remain in power.

"In this case now, we have very limited options, and look, it's concerning that the secretary of State ... said that the future's up to the people in Syria on what happens with Assad," he said" "In essence, (Tillerson was) almost nodding to the idea that Assad was going to get to stay in some capacity."

"I don't think it's a coincidence that a few days later we see this," Rubio added.

[Last modified: Wednesday, April 5, 2017 11:38am]

    

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