President Trump vowed U.S. troops are “not going into Syria,” during an interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo that is set to air Wednesday.
The commander in chief’s promise comes days after he ordered 59 Tomahawk missiles be launched at a Syrian air base where Bashar Assad had stored chemical weapons that were used in a recent attack on Syria citizens who oppose the regime.
Instead, Trump looked back at the Obama administration’s foreign policy and said his predecessor could have taken action against Assad earlier to prevent these continued attacks.
“When I see people using horrible, horrible chemical weapons, which they agreed not to use under the Obama administration, but they violated it … what I did should have been done by the Obama administration a long time before I did it. And I think Syria would be a lot better off than it has been,” Trump told Bartiromo.
The U.S. does already have troops in Syria, but they are there to advise and support Syrian militias fighting the Islamic State, and aren’t involved in any missions to topple Assad. The Pentagon does not provide numbers of deployed troops there, but the cap is 503.
While some pundits have called Trump’s offensive move against Syria a symbolic warning to North Korea, Trump offered few details about a potential plan to confront Kim Jong Un with military action. He referenced the recent movement of the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, which canceled a planned port visit in Australia in order to sail near the Korean Peninsula.
“You never know, do you? You never know,” Trump said. “We are sending an armada, very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful. Far more powerful than the aircraft carrier, that I can tell you. And we have the best military people. And I will say this: He is doing the wrong thing.”
The full interview will air between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. Wednesday.
This post originally appeared on Washington Examiner