Washington-President Donald Trump continued to suggest on Wednesday that Lebanese officials initially assessed that the explosion killed at least 135 people in Lebanon. This is not an accident.
They really don't know what it is," Trump insisted. "No one knows yet.
The focus of investigators investigating the fatal explosion in Beirut was the negligence of storing a large amount of explosive fertilizer ammonium nitrate in a seaside warehouse. The Lebanese government ordered several port officials involved in the explosion to be placed under house arrest, killing at least 135 people. Injured 5,000 people.
On Tuesday, Trump called the explosion a "terrorist attack" and said that the American general told him that it might have been caused by the bomb. Trump said: "They seem to think it was an attack. "This is a bomb, yes."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper contradicted the president on Wednesday, saying that most people thought the explosion was "an accident as reported."
But later that day, Trump insisted that no one knew for sure.
"If someone left some terrible explosive device and surrounding things, how can you tell the accident-maybe that's it. Maybe this is an attack," Trump told reporters in a White House briefing. "I don't think anyone can say it right now.
"Some people think this is an attack, some people think it is not. Anyway, this is a terrible incident, many people were killed, many people were seriously injured, seriously injured. We stand in that country."
"But whether it is a deliberately detonated bomb, it is ultimately a bomb," he said. "But no, I've heard of two ways.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows defended the president, saying Trump only told reporters on Tuesday what military officials told him. This is possible. It was an accident, and it may be a very offensive thing. Meadows told CNN: "The president shared with the American people what he briefly introduced, and I can tell you with 100% certainty. "However, on Wednesday, U.S. officials could not be certain that any "generals" of Beirut had provided information to the president. Although no one commented publicly, some pointed out that defense and intelligence officials did not have enough information about the explosion to be unable to do so on Tuesday. Make any statement about the cause in the evening.
This is not the first time a defense official has been arrested.
Trump announced on Twitter earlier in his presidency that he would ban transgender service members. The Pentagon leaders did not take this move. Know about.
Recently, defense officials tried to explain what Trump meant when he hinted that the military plans to play a role in the distribution of coronavirus vaccines, which surprised many people. They had no plans to do. When George Floyd passed away, the president publicly expressed his hope to invoke the Rebellion Act and deploy troops to suppress protests.
Experts based on video and other evidence, Experts suggest that fireworks and ammonium nitrate are the fuel to ignite the explosion that shook the Lebanese capital. From the explosion zone in Beirut port to the windows a few miles away, the damage from the explosion is similar to other explosions, involving chemical compounds commonly used as agricultural fertilizers. The compound usually does not explode when it explodes and requires another source of ignition. It may be that the fire engulfed fireworks that originally appeared to be stored in the port. The Lebanese government said it would put Beirut port officials under house arrest, house arrest, and wait Investigating how to store 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate in the port for many years.
The U.S. Embassy in Beirut said that at least one American was killed in the explosion, one citizen was killed and many others were injured. The embassy said in a statement on Wednesday: "We are working Work closely with local authorities to determine whether other American citizens are affected. "The embassy said that all employees are safe and responsible.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talked with Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab on Wednesday to convey the condolences of the United States to the Lebanese people. Esper's meeting this year The “Aspen Security Forum” stated online that the United States is preparing to provide humanitarian aid and medical or other supplies to the Lebanese people.
Associated Press reporters Lolita C. Baldor and Deb Riechmann