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British PM summons Cabinet to discuss Syria — The Latest

16 Abril 2018

Without evidence of that alleged chemical attack by the Syrian Army, Western countries threaten to launch missiles at military and civilian facilities in this Arab nation.

But while the Russian president's lieutenants continued to up the ante with threats and allegations, Vladimir Putin himself adopted a more statesmanlike tone, in remarks to new ambassadors presenting their credentials at the Kremlin.

After Russia warned the United States against military strikes in Syria, President Donald Trump says missiles "will be coming".

Illustrative photo of a US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle flying over northern Iraq on September 23, 2014, after conducting airstrikes in Syria.

At the time, the Pentagon claimed that a fifth of Syria's operational aircraft were either damaged or destroyed.

Had Trump planned to pull advisers out of Syria?

Douma, the last rebel stronghold outside of the capital Damascus, was hit by a chemical weapon attack.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said: "The use of chemical weapons is a clear red line, and there must be consequences for crossing it".

That, in part, may be the reason Trump sent his threatening tweet early on Wednesday.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday the National Security Council would meet and that decisions on Syria will be made "soon".

But since then he's suggested he'll wait for further advice from military advisers and US allies.

He said it was not necessary for the U.S. Congress to give Trump a new authorization to use military force because the existing one "gives him the authority he needs to do what he may or may not do".

Trump has remained in heavy consultation with France and the United Kingdom since the suspected chemical attack, which killed more than 40 people. The new tweet from President Trump immediately boosted stocks and other risky assets and is being interpreted as a potential climb-down from American military action, which had seemed imminent.

This reflects a view in the White House that deeper Russian and Iranian involvement in Syria have complicated calculations about a response to any U.S. military attack.

The Syrian government has repeatedly refuted allegations of any involvement in alleged chemical attacks, referring to the fact that it destroyed all its chemical weapons stockpiles several years ago under the supervision of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

"It is highly likely that the regime is responsible for Saturday's attack", a Downing Street spokesman said in a readout of a Cabinet meeting that May convened Thursday evening in London.

"We're still assessing the intelligence, ourselves and our allies". That is not a legal requirement, though it is a convention. Trump said, "Militarily, I don't like to say where I am going and what I am doing".

President Trump has promised a forceful U.S. response to Saturday's incident in the Damascus suburb of Douma. Israel has not responded to the accusations, though The Associated Press notes it typically refrains from commenting on strikes.

British PM summons Cabinet to discuss Syria — The Latest