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Mattis, Haley claim warning to Syria prevented attack

Jacquelyn Martin and Andrew Harnik / AP

Both Defense Secretary Mattis and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley are claiming President Trump's warning to Syria over chemical weapons prevented an attack.

  • Mattis, while on his way to a NATO meeting in Brussels Wednesday, told reporters: "It appears that they took the warning seriously." When asked repeatedly how he knows Syria heeded the warning he said simply, "they didn't do it," three times.
  • Haley on Capitol Hill Wednesday, via The Guardian: "Due to the president's actions, we did not see an incident…I would like to think that the president saved many innocent men, women and children."
  • Our thought bubble: Reports on what prompted the White House statement Monday night that Syria was preparing for a possible chemical attack have been vague and at times conflicting. With so little known about the would-be attack, it's hard to assess whether the warning changed the regime's calculus.