A new book by Watergate reporter Bob Woodward alleged that US President Donald Trump had ordered the assassination of Syrian regime leader Bashar Assad.
In his new book, “Fear: Trump in the White House”, Woodward said that Trump told his defense secretary that he wanted to have Assad assassinated in response to a chemical attack on Syrian civilians in April 2017.
The book said James Mattis, the defense secretary, told Trump he would “get right on it” but instead developed a plan for a limited air strike that did not threaten Assad personally.
Trump tweeted that quotes attributed to Mattis were “made up frauds, a con on the public”. Mattis dismissed the book as “a uniquely Washington brand of literature”.
Israel’s intelligence minister weighed in on the claims, saying he had no knowledge Trump had ever ordered Assad’s killing.
“I do not know of any such instruction. He (Trump) is also denying it, by the way,” Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz told Tel Aviv radio station 103 FM.
“In any event, what can be said is that in the framework of the coordination between the United States and Israel ... the subject of the Syrian regime is certainly part of the discussions. Israel did not take a decision to topple Assad.”
Woodward gained national fame for his reporting on the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, and has since written a number of books that provide behind-the-scenes glimpses of presidential administrations and other Washington institutions.
For this book, Woodward spoke to top aides and other insiders with the understanding that he would not reveal how he got his information, said the Washington Post, which published excerpts from the book on Tuesday.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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