No 'final decision' from Trump on Syria

British PM May summons ministers to discuss possible military action in Syria

British PM May summons ministers to discuss possible military action in Syria

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump threatened a direct strike on Syrian government forces, following an alleged chemical attack in the city of Douma, in a tweet that was followed by another one in which Trump claimed that Washington's relations with Moscow were worse than during the Cold War.

In another development on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a press briefing that Washington has not laid out a timetable for possible strikes on Syria yet.

These "voices" and "any possible action" from the West "will contribute nothing but an increase in instability in the region, threatening global peace and security", the Syrian leader stressed, speaking to Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Officials also said that the US has compiled intelligence from the USA and other countries, including images, that indicate the Syrian government was behind the weekend attack. On Thursday, Trump tweeted that an attack "could be very soon or not so soon at all!" Trump on Wednesday had warned Russian Federation to "get ready" for a missile attack on its ally Syria.

The U.S. now has blood and urine samples from last Saturday's deadly attack in Syria that have tested positive for chemical weapons, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the intelligence.

Britain has been launching air strikes in Syria from its military base in Cyprus, but only against targets linked to the Islamic State militant group.

British opposition lawmakers have called on May to give Parliament a vote before any military action.

At the House hearing, Democrats grilled Mattis on the wisdom and legality of Trump ordering an attack on Syria without explicit authorization from Congress. Mattis argued it would be justified as an act of self-defense, with 2,000 US ground troops in Syria; he insisted he could not talk about military plans because an attack "is not yet in the offing".

"The situation in the world is getting more chaotic", he said.

Rep. Adam Smith, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said he sees no legal justification for a USA strike in Syria, absent explicit authorization by Congress. "We need to know where that's going, what the objective of it is before we take that act".

He said the United States is still assessing intelligence relating to Syrian President Bashar al Assad's involvement in the attack.

The Russian ambassador, Vasily A. Nebenzya, accused the United States and its allies of reckless Middle East warmongering by threatening Syria with military force.

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