Selin ATAY-TDO- After U.S. President Donald Trump claimed Beirut blast was an attack, "Most believe" a devastating bomb blast that rocked the Lebanese capital "was an accident," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said.
While addressing the virtual Aspen Security Forum, Esper said he is "still getting information on what happened" in Beirut. But, he did not elaborate on his comments about the origins of explosion's.
But Mark Esper said the Pentagon is preparing to deploy United States aid as Lebanon grapples with the devastating repercussions.
"We’re positioning ourselves to provide them with whatever assistance we can, humanitarian aid, medical supplies, you name it, to assist the people of Lebanon. It’s the right thing to do," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said.
Donald Trump claimed Tuesday the tragedy was a bombing rather than an explosion, saying it was the appraisal offered to him by United States generals.
Asked if he was confident in his assessment the blast was an attack and not an accident, Donald Trump said "it would seem like it, based on the explosion."
"I met with some of our great generals, and they just seem to feel that it was. This was not some kind of a manufacturing explosion type of event," U.S. president said. "They would know better than I would, but they seem to think it was an attack, it was a bomb of some kind," he added.
Lebanese officials raised the death toll to 135 Wednesday, announcing nearly 5,000 victims were injured and dozens remain missing.
The Supreme Defense Council in Lebanon declared Beirut a disaster-stricken city. Also, the Supreme Defense Council announced a state of emergency in the capital for two weeks.