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Trump To Skip Summit Of The Americas Amid Focus On Syria


President Donald Trump will not make a planned trip to South America later this week as he focuses on the situation in Syria, the White House announced on Tuesday.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump will stay in the U.S. to "oversee the American response to Syria and to monitor developments around the world."

Vice President Mike Pence will instead travel to Lima, Peru, to represent the U.S. at the Summit of the Americas beginning on Friday.

A statement from Pence's Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director Jarrod Agen said the vice president looks forward to promoting policy that will lead to an even stronger U.S. economy.

Agen said Pence also looks forward to working with close allies in Latin America to collectively hold undemocratic actors in the region accountable for their actions.

Trump's decision to not attend the summit comes on the heels of a suspected chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus over the weekend that killed dozens of people.

Ahead of a meeting with senior military leadership on Monday, Trump said the U.S. has "a lot of options, militarily" to respond to the developments in Syria.

"We can't let atrocities like we all witnessed — and you can see that and it's horrible — we can't let that happen," Trump said.

He added, "In our world, we can't let that happen, especially when we're able to — because of the power of the United States, because of the power of our country — we're able to stop it."

Last April, Trump ordered an airstrike on a Syrian airbase in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of civilians.

(Photo: Gage Skidmore)

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