US Still Assessing Intel on Alleged Douma Chemical Attack - Mattis

Amid Donald Trump's bullish rhetoric, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis suggested that the United States remains uncertain about the details of what exactly occurred in Douma on April 7, adding that no decision has been made to strike Syria.

'Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria.

Lawmakers quizzed Mattis on what he made of President Donald Trump's confused messaging over Syria. As a result of this attack at least 70 people died.

The U.S. president has blamed Assad for the attack and in a rare direct condemnation of Russia's leader Vladimir Putin, Trump tweeted Sunday that "President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible" for their support of "Animal Assad". "And so working with our allies and partners from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to Qatar and elsewhere, we are going to address this issue", Mattis said. The Pentagon chief said he would not rule out a USA military strike against Syria in response to a suspected poison gas.

Trump last week said he wanted to pull out of the war-torn nation, but this week taunted Assad ally Russian Federation with boasts of an impending missile strike.

"At this time, the Department of Defense is not conducting air strikes in Syria", the statement said.

Trump appeared to attribute the blame to the Assad regime, which denies carrying out the latest attack, but was found by the United Nations to have been behind a similar chemical attack in 2017 on the town of Khan Sheikhoun.

He claimed Russian investigators found no bodies or anyone needing treatment in Eastern Ghouta, just northeast of the capital Damascus, despite multiple reports, images and video from the area detailing the horrific aftermath of the chemical attack on Saturday April 7. Big price to pay.

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