Trump attempts to cloud timing of potential Syria strike

Donald Trump

Mrs May is expected to ask her cabinet to approve a form of British participation in action led by France and the United States, aimed at Syrian President Bashar al Assad's chemical weapons infrastructure.

Geopolitics specialist Dominique Moisi, a senior adviser at the Montaigne Institute?think tank in Paris, said "we have said that we were not allowing the use of chemical weapons, that this was a red line ..."

USA officials suspect the Russia-backed Assad regime is behind the attack. "Could be very soon or not so soon at all!", the President tweeted.

He said Foreign Minister Wang Yi had exchanged ideas on the current situation in Syria with visiting United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The UN Security Council, tasked with maintaining global peace and security, has been riven, with Moscow virulently denying the Douma attack took place, or postulating that it was carried out by rebels.

As a private citizen in 2013, Trump was stridently opposed to military intervention against the Bashar al-Assad regime, counseling on Twitter that there is "no upside and tremendous downside" to ousting Assad.

The Times and the Daily Telegraph newspapers reported that the cabinet would back May in joining any US-led action, as Royal Navy submarines armed with cruise missiles were moving into range. During one speech, he said, "We must as a nation be more unpredictable".

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.

Trump did not detail what a strike on Syria would look like, or whether these would be US missiles.

Shortly after his tweeted warning to Russia, Trump took a more conciliatory tone in lamenting that the U.S. -Russia relationship "is worse now than it has ever been". "So we're looking at that very strongly and very seriously".

"With every victory achieved on the field, the voices of some Western states are raised and actions are intensified in an attempt by them to change the course of events. these voices and any possible action will contribute nothing but an increase in instability in the region, threatening worldwide peace and security", Mr al Assad said according to Syrian state television.

Russian Federation has threatened to respond firmly to any military action against the Syrian Government.

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.

Syria, which denies carrying out the latest attack, said it had invited the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which has blamed the regime for previous such incidents, to visit Douma. A military operation would be a big deal for Macron, his first military action as president, at a time of heightened domestic tensions over labor law changes. Multiple IS terror attacks have targeted France, including one last month.

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