Trump pledges swift U.S. response to Syria chemical attack

Meanwhile, US president Donald Trump will miss an upcoming summit in South America and will remain in the US to "oversee the American response to Syria and to monitor developments around the world".

Even as Trump has been weighing a USA response to the chemical attack, he's remained enraged at the Cohen raid.

France and Britain also discussed with the Trump administration how to respond to the incident.

Trump was critical of former president Barack Obama for what he said was a failing strategy of publicizing planned military maneuvers ahead of time.

The incident has thrust Syria's seven-year-old conflict back to the forefront of global concern and pitted Washington and Moscow against each other again. Any riposte would most likely be in coordination with the United States, government aides said.

On Monday the US President condemned the "heinous" chemical weapon attack and said he would decide within the next 24 to 48 hours whether to launch a military reprisal.

In Syria, thousands of militants and their families arrived in rebel-held parts of the country's northwest after surrendering Douma to government forces. Eastern Ghouta's main town of Douma remains under rebel control but even as a trickle of emergency medical evacuations was scheduled to continue, the regime continued to pound the enclave.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in February that Britain should consider joining military action against Assad's regime if there is fresh "incontrovertible" evidence he has used chemical weapons against his own people. After the airstrikes were reported, however, Pentagon spokesman Christopher Sherwood said in a statement, "At this time, the Department of Defense is not conducting airstrikes in Syria".

The mission will aim to determine whether banned munitions were used, but will not assign blame.

They quoted a doctor and an ambulance driver who both reportedly said they had not dealt with anyone showing symptoms of chemical poisoning.

As she called for an independent investigation into the suspected use of chemical weapons, Ms Pierce said: "We have nothing to hide, but it appears Russian Federation and Syria and their supporters Iran do have something to fear".

"Syria is keen on cooperating with the OPCW to uncover the truth behind the allegations that some Western sides have been advertising to justify their aggressive intentions", Syria's state news agency SANA said. Although the agency said it was likely "an American aggression", US officials said the USA had not launched airstrikes on Syria.

Shamanov emphasized that a retaliatory Russian strike could target US navy ships and aircraft. A Navy destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, was underway in the eastern Mediterranean on Monday after completing a port call at Larnaca, Cyprus.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday that his country had sent experts to Douma and that there was "no trace" of the use of chemical weapons there. He has signaled a decision would come within days.

If the U.S. proposal is put to a vote, it would likely be vetoed by Russian Federation.

Haley suggested that Russian Federation and Syria were uncivilized nations, and promised that the USA would respond to the attacks if the UNSC did not take action.

A senior Russian lawmaker said Tuesday that Moscow is willing to help arrange an OPCW visit to the site of the suspected attack.

"Nothing is off the table", Trump said, when asked about a military response.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley holds photographs of victims during a meeting at the United Nations Security Council on Syria at the United Nations Headquarters in NY.

Pence "will expand the regional coalition against Venezuela's dictatorship and demonstrate why the US should remain Latin America's economic partner of choice", Quintana said.

"This is basically a diplomatic set-up", said Richard Gowan, a United Nations expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Haley has been a vocal critic of Russia's actions in Syria. "A breakdown at the United Nations will also make it easier for France to justify strikes". Mr. Trump has promised a "forceful" response in Syria.

A Russian warplane flew over a French warship at low altitude in the eastern Mediterranean this weekend, a deliberate breach of worldwide regulations, a French naval source said on Tuesday.

"Until this minute, no one has been able to find out the kind of agent that was used", Mahmoud said in a video statement from northern Syria.

  • Essie Rivera