Trump Clears Up Syria Missile Threat: 'Soon Or Not So Soon'

Ethiopia supports probe into alleged chemical attack in Syria

Ethiopia supports probe into alleged chemical attack in Syria

A joint military operation, possibly with France rather than the the lead, could send a message of global unity about enforcing the prohibitions on chemical weapons.

"There must be a consistent Syria policy, that is the key thing", Norbert Roettgen, a party ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and chairman of the foreign policy committee in the country's parliament, said on Deutschlandfunk radio on Thursday.

Activists and medics say dozens of people died when government aircraft dropped bombs filled with toxic chemicals on Douma on Saturday.

Western allies are considering intervening military action.

There were also signs of a global effort to head off a unsafe conflict that could pit Russian Federation against the West.

The United States and allies including France and Britain have been pushing for access to the Douma neighborhood where photos and videos show hundreds of children and adults seeking medical treatment from a reported gas attack.

"The situation in Syria is horrific".

Russian Federation said reports of chemical weapons attacks were untrue and "bogus", despite monitoring watch groups describing the horror on the ground - including children and adults foaming at the mouth.

Assad's victory in the seven-year civil war "will change the map of the region", and the "biggest loser" will be Israel, she said.

He said the president has not yet decided whether military force would be part of a US response in Syria.

"They are the guarantors of law and order in the town", RIA news agency quoted Russia's Defence Ministry as saying.

Trump was also slated to speak with French President Emanuel Macron on Thursday evening as the US and its allies weigh a response to the apparent chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held area of Syria last weekend.

The skies over and around Syria are even emptier than usual as commercial flights avoid the area in expectation of a potential USA strike on the Assad regime.

Children use respirators following a suspected chemical attack in Douma on Saturday night
Trump Clears Up Syria Missile Threat: 'Soon Or Not So Soon'

US officials are acknowledging the risk of retaliation drawing Washington and Moscow - both of which have troops in Syria - into direct military conflict.

World stocks edged down as anxious investors stayed wary of risky assets.

At least 40 people were killed and hundreds sickened in last Saturday's attack in the town of Douma, in eastern Ghouta on the outskirts of Damascus.

Several hours before, Macron told a TV interviewer that he has "evidence" of the Syrian government's culpability for Douma.

The Russian military, which has troops in Syria, said on Monday that its officers had visited the site of the alleged attack and found no evidence to back up reports of poison gas being used.

Trump changed his tone in another tweet that was posted some 40 minutes later, calling for a better relationship with Russian Federation. Videos and photos from the site of the attack, along with witness testimony contradicted that, and on Thursday, the USA reportedly received physical evidence. A United States guided-missile destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, is in the Mediterranean.

The U.S. stance on striking Syria is no clearer, even after President Trump tweeted that missiles "will be coming".

Any potential strike against Syria could be carried out by extensive US and United Kingdom military assets already in the region, including two US Navy destroyers armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Netanyahu's office said: "The prime minister reiterated that Israel will not allow Iran to establish a military presence in Syria".

Before meeting with his top security and military advisers, Trump said a decision would be "made fairly soon".

British Prime Minister Theresa May has summoned her cabinet back from vacation to discuss possible military action against Syria.

It has been observed in subsequent military deployments in Libya and Iraq and many British lawmakers and voters are deeply sceptical of deepening involvement in the Syrian conflict.

Post-World War II Germany typically has been reluctant to engage in military action, and parliamentary approval is required for any military missions overseas.

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