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15 April 2018, 10:39 | Melissa Porter
President Donald Trump announced on Friday he ordered strikes on the Syrian regime in response to a chemical weapons attack last weekend.
"We're having a number of meetings today, we'll see what happens, we're obviously looking at that very closely", he told lawmakers and governors in the Cabinet Room. A joint military operation, possibly with France rather than the U.S.in the lead, could send a message of worldwide unity about enforcing the prohibitions on chemical weapons.
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.
Trump posted a tweet on Wednesday warning Russian Federation to "get ready" because missiles "will be coming" to Syria.
Macron said Thursday that France would not tolerate "regimes that think everything is permitted".
Asked if he was referring to war between the U.S. and Russian Federation, he said: "We can not exclude any possibilities unfortunately". "The US will be a partner and a friend".
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.
He said the USA is considering a response, including military attacks. On the one hand, there is the president's well-established aversion to regime change.
Assad said Thursday that Western countries were lashing out after they lost their "bet" on opposition forces in the eastern Ghouta suburbs of the capital.
At the United Nations meanwhile, diplomats were mulling a draft resolution put forward by Sweden and obtained by AFP, that would dispatch a "high-level disarmament mission" to rid the country of chemical weapons "once and for all".
In a statement, Senator Bernie Sanders said Trump has no legal authority for broadening the war in Syria.
The council has already failed to agree on a response to the attack in three votes and has been deadlocked throughout the Syrian civil war. She has said the use of chemical weapons "cannot go unchallenged".
She is not seeking parliamentary approval for military action but the agreement of the cabinet, which is expected to back a response of non-lethal military assistance to the USA against Syrian targets.
"There has been no decision to take military action at this point".
Earlier in the week, Trump suggested he was committed to ordering strikes in Syria.
National security experts anxious about whether strikes would actually serve to deter Assad.
On Sunday, the day after the attack, the U.S. president said Russian President Vladimir Putin bore responsibility for the "atrocity" in rebel-held Douma, because of his support for the Syrian government.
In the call, the two leaders had agreed that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "had established a pattern of risky behaviour in relation to the use of chemical weapons", Downing Street said. British officials said up to 75 people were killed.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, based in the Netherlands, announced it was sending a fact-finding team to the site of the attack outside Damascus, and it was due to arrive Saturday.
He said Foreign Minister Wang Yi had exchanged ideas on the current situation in Syria with visiting United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
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