Russia: Syrian regime now controls rebel town hit in chemical attack

Ammar Safarjalani  Zuma  TASS

Ammar Safarjalani Zuma TASS

Syria and its allies - Russia, Iran and the Lebanese militant group, Hezbollah - are coordinating and on "high" alert, she said.

That still didn't stop him from making an overture to Russian Federation in his very next tweet, though, in hopes of improving relations.

On Wednesday, even though Mr Trump had previously said he would not "broadcast" his moves in Syria, he said in a post on Twitter that missiles "will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'".

The White House has said Trump is considering striking Syria with missiles as one option to retaliate for the latest alleged chemical attack blamed on Syria's government forces. "Could be very soon or not so soon at all!".

Mattis also promised communication to the USA congressional leadership prior to any attack on Syria.

"We will facilitate the arrival of the team to anywhere they want, in Douma, to check whether or not there was use of chemical substances", said Bashar Jaafari, Syria's envoy to the United Nations in NY, adding that a second team is due to arrive on Friday. It was not clear whether the presence of the investigators could affect the timing of any US military action.

Two US government sources told Reuters the United States still did not have 100 percent solid evidence of what nerve agent was used in Syria and where it came from. Others said they have readied underground basements for cover.

Both the Syrian government and Russian Federation deny the attack ever took place.

Senior Russian lawmaker, Alexei Kondratyev, a deputy head of the upper house's defense committee, on Wednesday said that warships would be engaged in the Mediterranean Sea to protect Russian assets in Syria from a possible USA strike.

Last year's attack ordered by Trump "was neither operationally nor strategically successful", Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Edward Markey said on Wednesday. "All the indications are that the Syrian regime was responsible". Prior to that allegation - and Trump's airstrikes on Assad assets in response - the Syrian dictator had said that Trump's public claims that he was eager to withdraw the US military from the country were "promising" but lamented that Trump did not engage directly with him.

Amid the talk of military action, the Kremlin, a close ally of Assad, countered that more "serious approaches" were needed to combat the crisis.

But since then, Mr. Trump has backed off slightly, and rebuffed claims that he has given away the timetable on a Syria response - something he accused former President Barack Obama of doing.

Voters from all main parties were overall against launching cruise missile attacks, but the majority (51 per cent) of 2017 Labour voters oppose the move while the Tories are nearly evenly split (33 per cent support strikes, 34 per cent oppose). "We have the proof that chemical weapons - at least chlorine gas - were used by Assad's regime", Macron told France's TF1 television.

This image released early on April 8, 2018 by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, shows a child receiving oxygen through respirators following an alleged poison gas attack in the rebel-held town of Douma, near Damascus, Syria. The Syrian government denies responsibility.

In 2013, Russian Federation headed off a threatened attack by the USA and France by engineering the transport of chemical weapons out of Syria.

"Germany will not take part in possible - there have not been any decisions yet, I want to stress that - military action", Merkel said after meeting Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen in Berlin.

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