President Donald Trump ordered the missile strike after watching television images of infants suffering from chemical weapons injuries. "You pick and choose your battles and when we're looking at this, it's about changing up priorities and our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out," Haley had told reporters on March 30, just days before dozens of Syrian civilians died from chemical weapons injuries. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seemed to take a more patient stance in regard to Assad, saying yesterday that Washington's first priority is the defeat of Islamic State.
Once the threat from Islamic State has been reduced or eliminated, “I think we can turn our attention directly to stabilizing the situation in Syria,” Tillerson said in excerpts from an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” that will air in full today. Tillerson said the United States is hopeful it can help bring parties together to begin the process of hammering out a political solution. "If we can achieve ceasefires in zones of stabilization in Syria, then I believe - we hope we will have the conditions to begin a useful political process,” Tillerson said. Syrian forces launched further airstrikes yesterday that killed 18 people including five children in rebel-controlled Idlib province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the civil defense rescue service reported.