No 'final decision' from Trump on Syria

Gen. Igor Konashenkov, spoke at a briefing in Moscow on Friday.

Britan made clear that it was ready to back its U.S. allies in military action against Syria.

On Wednesday, Trump took to Twitter directing a stark warning of retaliatory strikes at the Kremlin. British officials said up to 75 people were killed. The statement said none of the patients had any symptoms of chemical poisoning. The White House said he would consult further with allies.

President Donald Trump has emerged from a meeting with his national security team without a "final decision" on how to respond to a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria. "It's some of the worst piece of fake news we've yet seen from the Russian Federation propaganda machine". "It is due to arrive in Damascus in the morning of April 14", the Russian foreign minister said. He didn't elaborate or name the state.

Minutes after Pentagon brass and cabinet members jumped in black armored SUVs and sped away from the White House, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump would continue to assess intelligence and engage with allies.

"Let us not forget that, ultimately, our efforts must be about ending the awful suffering of the Syrian people", he urged the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain.

The Russian leader warned against "ill-considered and unsafe actions ... that would have consequences beyond conjecture". "We are obviously looking at that very closely".

But France's United Nations ambassador Francois Delattre told the Security Council that in choosing once again to use banned chemical weapons against civilians, Assad's regime had "reached a point of no-return". He said "the Cold War is back - with a vengeance but with a difference", because safeguards that managed the risk of escalation in the past, "no longer seem to be present".

Speaking at the United Nations on Thursday, Russia's U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, said the top priority had to be to avert a wider war, and he didn't rule out the possibility of a U.S. -Russia conflict.

It was a marked escalation in force compared to a USA strike launched a year ago, when only cruise missiles were used against a single airfield.

Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia urged the United States on Thursday to avoid military action, saying the "immediate priority is to avert the danger of war".

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"We're talking about humanity and it can't be allowed to happen", he said.

The United States is consulting with Britain and France about a joint military response to an alleged toxic gas attack in the rebel-held town of Douma that medics and rescuers said killed at least 40 people on Saturday.

The Syrian-American Medical Society (Sams) said more than 500 people had been found with symptoms "indicative of exposure to a chemical agent" after the attacks.

Plans for Western strikes should carefully avoid Russian troops stationed in Syria to avoid any risk of military escalation with Moscow. It was not known if U.S pilots were flying over Syrian airspace, however, Mattis did say "manned aircraft" were involved in the airstrikes.

Russian representative Vassily Nebenzia argued the incident in Douma was staged and that United States military action in response could have "grave repercussions".

The military drumbeat appeared to reach crescendo ahead of the meeting, with USA action seeming imminent as Russian Federation stonewalled diplomatic efforts at the United Nations and France cited "proof" that Moscow's Syrian ally carried out a deadly chemical weapons attack.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned Assad for killing "innocent kids in the Douma chemical attack".

Mr Macron said France had "proof" that the chemical attack on the Eastern Ghouta city of Douma took place last week. The government, however, said evacuations from Douma were ongoing and no Syrian government forces had entered the town.

On April 10, Damascus sent an official invitation to the OPCW to visit Eastern Ghouta.

The capture of Douma from rebels who evacuated this week has clinched a major victory for Assad, crushing what was once a center of the insurgency near Damascus, and underlines his seemingly unassailable position in the war.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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