'Mission Accomplished' in Syria, Trump declares on Twitter
Apr 15 2018 by Desiree Burns
Assad saidThursday that Western threats to strike Syria are based on "lies" and seek to undermine his forces' advances near Damascus.
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump did not mean that Mueller was the only reason for bad relations with Russian Federation, but that the Kremlin actions in Syria and Ukraine also played a role.
Criticism of the allied airstrikes was limited.
Mattis said the president's National Security Council would be meeting later Thursday to "take forward the various options" for Trump. He and Trump spoke repeatedly this week.
The Russian military said it had observed movements of U.S. Navy forces in the Gulf.
Russian Federation supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has military personnel in Syria, creating a risk of armed confrontation between Washington and Moscow surrounding the country's long running civil war.
Assad's Damascus regime, which has long accused Washington of supporting its armed opponents in the country's bloody seven-year-old civil war, hit back at Trump's "reckless escalation".
He accused Russian Federation of being complicit in Syria's retention of chemical weapons, despite a 2013 deal that Moscow helped broker requiring Syria to abandon them.
"Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path, or if it will join with civilized nations as a force for stability and peace", Trump said.
However, other channels, even those that are agreed to be used, are sometimes not used, because the US side tends to "refuse to meet at the last moment without explaining the reasons", he said.
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In Moscow, the head of a Russian parliamentary defence committee, Vladimir Shamanov, said Russia was in direct contact with the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff about the situation.
Dozens of people in Douma died and hundreds were injured in the attack, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
In London, British Prime Minister Theresa May said all the indications pointed to Syrian government responsibility for the attack and such "a shocking and barbaric act" could not go unchallenged. "Together, we have sent a clear message to Assad and his murderous lieutenants that they should not perpetrate another chemical weapons attack", Sec.
The US' keenness to strike stemmed from its charge that the Syrian government had attacked a rebel-held enclave within the country with chemical weapons, killing about 50 people, and the West says it draws the line at chemical weapons, whose use is banned in global law.
Mattis said no decision had been made about carrying out missile strikes.
Only Syrian air defense systems had responded to the strikes, US officials confirmed. "It's alarming but it's not a reason to panic".
But the Syrian regime and its backers in Moscow have denied a chemical attack took place, with Russian officials insisting the claims are a pretext to justify further intervention by the West.
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.
France's President Emmanuel Macron told reporters that his soldiers will target Syrian chemical factories.
The United States, Britain and France carried out a wave of punitive strikes against Bashar al-Assad´s Syrian regime on Saturday in response to alleged chemical weapons attacks that President Donald Trump branded the "crimes of a monster".