Trump puts off decision on Syria strikes

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Mattis said Wednesday that the U.S. is "still assessing the intelligence" on whether the Assad regime is to blame for the recent suspected chemical attack.

"So striking at Syria is not a good solution, but doing nothing after the use of chemical weapons is even worse", he said.

As tensions mount between the U.S. and Russian Federation over a possible USA strike, the Kremlin said a crisis communications link with the United States meant to avoid an accidental clash over Syria was being used by both sides.

A White House statement released later said the United States is continuing to assess intelligence and is engaged in conversations with its partners and allies.

During the two-hour meeting yesterday afternoon, ministers agreed to join forces with the U.S. and France to prevent Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's forces from launching an "appalling and inhumane" attack again.

"In the past, Trump has condemned others for forecasting military plans, repeatedly blistering President Barack Obama during the 2016 campaign".

Syria and Russia have denied using poisonous gas in Douma on April 7, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying that Moscow had "irrefutable" evidence that the attack in Douma was a "staged event". The White House said he would consult further with allies.

Trump has consulted with U.S. allies, particularly France and the United Kingdom, about a coordinated response to the suspected chemical attack, but officials say they have not reached a firm agreement on scale or timing. There is no reason for this, he wrote, adding that "Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do, and we need all nations to work together".

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President Donald Trump huddled with top national security advisors Thursday to weigh his military options in Syria, as Moscow warned against any move that risks triggering a conflict between Russian Federation and the United States. "Could be very soon or not so soon at all!"

Theresa May is reportedly adamant that the United Kingdom plays an equal part in any military action against Syria.

Macron did not specify whether France is planning military action against Syrian President Bashar Assad's government.

The French president does not need parliamentary permission to launch a military operation. Russia's ambassador to Lebanon said any missiles fired at Syria would be shot down and the launching sites targeted - a stark warning of a potential major confrontation.

In the call, the two leaders had agreed that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "had established a pattern of risky behaviour in relation to the use of chemical weapons", Downing Street said.

But British involvement in further military intervention is controversial at home, in a country still haunted by its role in the US-led invasion of Iraq.

The attack in Douma happened late on Saturday amid a resumed offensive by Syrian government forces after the collapse of a truce with the Army of Islam rebel group.

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