UK's May summons Cabinet to discuss Syria military strike

Syrian President Bashar Assad second right greets a delegation of Muslim clerics from around the world

U.S. President Donald Trump earlier on Wednesday warned Russian Federation of imminent military action in Syria and he lambasted Moscow for standing by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Laurence Geai/SIPA/NewscomPresident Trump says there will be a "big price to pay" for the horrific chemical weapons attack reported in the rebel-held area of Eastern Ghouta, Syria. "Could be very soon or not so soon at all!". "Where is our 'Thank you?'"

Over the weekend, Mr. Trump blamed Syrian President Bashar Assad and his global allies, including Russian President Vladmir Putin for the apparent attack that left dozens dead and hundreds injured.

The Russian army declared early on April12 that the Syrian state flag was flying in Douma, where the alleged chemical attack took place.

Fears of confrontation between Russian Federation and the West have been running high since Mr Trump said on Wednesday that missiles "will be coming" after the suspected chemical weapons attack in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7, and lambasted Moscow for standing by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria, Russia and Iran say reports of the attack were fabricated by rebels and rescue workers in Douma and have accused the United States of seeking to use it as a pretext to attack the government.

Pentagon chief Jim Mattis and other members of Trump's national security team met Wednesday, after the president warned Russian Federation on Twitter to expect a missile barrage toward its ally, Syria, saying "You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!"

Talk of a USA attack on Syria is part of a "psychological war meant to project power that the West has lost", Bouthaina Shaaban, Assad's media and political adviser, said in an interview late Wednesday with Lebanon-based Al Mayadeen TV.

When asked about expectations that the U.S. will launch a punitive strike on Syria over the attack, U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said, "Some things are simply inexcusable - beyond the pale - and in the worst interests of not just the chemical weapons convention, but of civilization itself".

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The commander-in-chief went on yet another Twitter tirade, declaring that "nice and new and "smart" missiles would soon be fired towards Syria as a response to the recent chemical-weapons attack.

Moscow's ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander Zasypkin, warned on Wednesday that any US missiles fired at Syria would be shot down and the launch sites targeted.

Asked to comment on possible US strikes, Peskov said "it's necessary to avoid any steps that may fuel tensions in Syria". The attack killed dozens of women and children. Syria has denied using chemical weapons. He said later he hoped Syria's army and its allies would drive United States troops out of eastern Syria, and take Idlib in the northwest from rebels.

Speaking Thursday, Merkel said that the "whole spectrum of measures must be considered" when responding to the use of chemical weapons, adding: "Germany will support all activities with the United Nations security council".

"However, U.S. officials are not 100 per cent sure about the intelligence, " local media reported on Thursday. But what would be the point?

In Paris, Macron upped the pressure on Moscow by stating he had "proof" that Assad's regime had used chemical weapons, and vowing a response "at a time of our choosing". "We've tried that before".

Ministers will consider the options for backing military action threatened by the United States and its allies. Russian officials are on the ground helping direct the regime's "starve and surrender" campaigns, and Iranian allied forces do much of the dirty work.

Michel Duclos, former French ambassador in Syria and special advisor at the Montaigne Institute think tank, told AFP: "You have to hit hard enough to make sense but not too much not provoke an escalation, or create a misunderstanding about exactly what you want". But it stands with the Assad regime and supports it without hesitation. "We are trying to stop the murder of innocent people. After all, no civilized government would have anything to do with Assad's murderous regime", Haley said.

Earlier this week, Trump said his administration was working on a response to the suspected chemical attack, including military options. We are beyond appeals to conscience.

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