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Trump refuses to give timeline for Syria intervention

Trump refuses to give timeline for Syria intervention”

"Cabinet agreed the Prime Minister should continue to work with allies in the United States and France to coordinate an global response".

US lawmakers questioned whether Trump has the legal authority to order strikes without Congressional approval and opposition parties voiced concern. He acknowledged, however, that Syria retained "residual" capacity, but gave no details on the scope of what could be left.

Mattis said he personally believes Syria is guilty of an "inexcusable" use of chemical weapons, while noting that the worldwide fact-finding team would likely fall short of determining who was responsible.

But a special hotline for the USA and Russian militaries to communicate about operations in Syria is active and being used by both sides, Moscow said Thursday.

Mohamed Khairullah, the Syrian-born mayor of Prospect Park, was glad to hear Trump's announcement but said that hitting chemical weapons facilities did not go far enough.

The rhetoric from Syria's backers was harsh.

Trump chastised Syria's two main allies, Russia and Iran, for their roles in supporting "murderous dictators", and noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin had guaranteed a 2013 global agreement for Assad to get rid of all of his chemical weapons. "It is such a great Military term, it should be brought back", he wrote.

"Tonight I ask all Americans to say a prayer for our noble warriors and our allies as they carry out their missions", he said.

Deliberations by the US and its allies are still unfolding several days after a suspected chemical attack by the Syrian government against a rebel-held area killed more than 50 civilians and prompted calls for a forceful global response.

The Pentagon released video April 14 of the joint missile strike against the Syrian regime in retaliation for the suspected April 7 chemical attack against civilians in Douma.

Mattis said that Friday's attack used "double the amount of weapons" compared to the April 2017 strike.

Washington, Paris and London said they have proof, without identifying it, that chlorine gas caused victims to suffocate.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned such an attack carried the risk of spinning out of control, suggesting caution ahead of a decision on how to respond to an attack against civilians last weekend that US officials are increasingly certain involved the use of banned chemical weapons. They will collect soil samples and talk to witnesses in attempts to pin down what occurred. However, there was a growing row over whether MPs needed to give the green light for military action.

"I'm not ready to speculate that that would happen", Mattis said.

Earlier this month, a United Nations commission of inquiry released a report accusing the regime of committing war crimes in Eastern Ghouta, including the use of chemical weapons against civilians. "Where is our "Thank you America?" Could not have had a better result.

The U.S. supported a proposal Tuesday at the United Nations Security Council to initiate global investigations into Syria's chemical weaponry, but the resolution failed on Russia's veto. But any action was blocked by the vote powers of Russian Federation, on one side, and the United States, France and Britain on the other.

The OPCW, which works to rid the world of chemical arms stockpiles, said its experts were on their way to Syria and will start their work on Saturday.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported that its forces did not mobilize its air defenses - giving further signals that the attack would not open up a wider crisis between the two former Cold War foes.

CNN reported USA ships and aircraft were used in the strikes. It has also repositioned bomber warplanes from its Pacific island of Guam. An initial team of inspectors had only arrived in Syria on Friday.

Mattis said that although the United States has no hard proof, he believes the Syrian government was responsible for Saturday's attack.

"Nothing is certain in these kinds of matters". During one speech, he said, "We must as a nation be more unpredictable".

It was assumed chemical weapon sites would be the only major targets of a US-led sea and air strike. "We confined it to the chemical weapons-type targets".

The U.S., France and Britain have been in extensive consultations about launching a military strike as early as the end of this week, U.S. officials have said.

"Our relationship with Russian Federation is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War", Trump said in a tweet.

The European Union voiced support for the allies.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement that she "authorized British armed forces to conduct co-ordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the Syrian Regime's chemical weapons capability and deter their use". And he insisted it remains US policy not to be involved directly in Syria's civil war. It fulfilled Trump's vow that chemical weapons are a "red line" that he, unlike his predecessor Barack Obama, would not allow Assad to cross.

Russian Federation claims the chemical attack was staged.

Russian Federation has military forces, including air defenses, in several areas of Syria to support Assad in his long war against anti-government rebels.

Since last year's strike, multiple chemical attacks have been reported in opposition areas, majority involving chlorine rather than the nerve agent sarin, as was used in 2017, suggesting the government may have adjusted its tactics.

Asked about the risks of USA military retaliation, Mattis cited two concerns, starting with avoiding civilian casualties.

Syrian-Americans have been fiercely divided over the Assad regime since the outset of war in 2011, so it was no surprise that they were also divided in their response to US airstrikes.



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