Russian Federation warns the U.S. that Syrian airstrikes could spark war

Prime Minister Theresa May moved ever closer Wednesday to committing Britain to military action against Syria, saying "all the indications" are that President Bashar Assad's forces were behind a chemical weapons attack in Douma.

Speaking to congress at a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday, Mattis said he believed a chemical attack had taken place and blamed Russian Federation for being complicit in Syrian government's possession of chemical weapons. The Observatory said the Russian military is deploying to reassure thousands of remaining civilians in Douma.

"Never said when an attack on Syria would take place".

Russian Federation on Thursday warned the U.S.to avoid any steps that could destabilize the situation there.

What has Trump said about the attack?

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany would not participate in possible military action in Syria, but supports sending a message that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable.

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.

With Russian military assistance, al-Assad launched a military offensive on Eastern Ghouta, which had been under rebel control since mid-2013.

Syrian TV stations showed civilians in vehicles carrying the Syrian flag crossing from Damascus into Douma. A single government flag was raised, a war monitoring group said.

But the leaders of Jaish al-Islam, or Army of Islam, the strongest rebel group in eastern Ghouta that controlled Douma, have all evacuated. Its effective surrender to government forces comes after years of siege by Assad's troops and a months-long, intense military offensive. It followed weeks of negotiations mediated by Russian Federation that repeatedly were derailed.

Amid earlier disagreements, a truce collapsed last week and the Syrian government pressed ahead with its offensive.

Britain's government weighed the possibility of military action against Syria on Thursday but faced growing scepticism from opposition leaders and deeper divisions in a country still haunted by its role in the US-led invasion of Iraq.

"The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war", Moscow's United Nations ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said on Thursday.

May's office added that she and her top team "agreed the prime minister should continue to work with allies in the United States and France to coordinate an global response".

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.

During the meeting, Assad warned that "Western threats aimed at Damascus will destabilize the situation in the region and throughout the world". "People started shouting in the streets, 'Chemicals!" At Nabil Nafiseh, one of Damascus's most famous candies shops, men, women and children sat outdoors enjoying the evening breeze and nibbling on Arab candies.

"I came here to defy the dogs who are threatening Syria", the 43-year-old said.

It was not clear whether Trump and US allies would wait for the results of the investigation before deciding on a strike. "We were not scared in Aleppo and we are not scared in Damascus".

Ahmad al-Issa, 46, ruled out a USA airstrike, saying Trump has in the past threatened to wipe North Korea off the map, then ended up calling for a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But U.S. intelligence agencies have not completed their assessment or reached a final conclusion, the officials said.

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