Trump Promises Decision on Military Action Against Syria in Next Two Days

Carlos Barria  Reuters FILEPresident Donald Trump walks with Vice President Mike Pence in Washington Dec. 20 2017

Carlos Barria Reuters FILEPresident Donald Trump walks with Vice President Mike Pence in Washington Dec. 20 2017

The decision to strike, after days of deliberations, marked Trump's second order to attack Syria; he authorized a barrage of Tomahawk cruise missiles to hit a single Syrian airfield in April 2017 in retaliation for Assad's use of sarin gas against civilians.

The Russian Defense Ministry statement followed a chaotic day in Douma that saw rebels there open fire as opposition fighters were leaving with families under the deal. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said images of victims of the purported attack were staged with "Britain's direct involvement". Moscow warned against any strikes and threatened to retaliate. "The president holds Syria and Russian Federation responsible for this chemical weapons attack". The medics, however, said none of the patients had any symptoms of chemical poisoning, according to the statements.

At the White House, the options presented fell short of the president's expectations, and the Pentagon is expected to present an expanded list to the president on Friday.

"We take recommendations of EASA as binding; we are constantly monitoring the situation in the Middle East", Vlaďka Dufková, spokesperson of Travel Service told SITA. He didn't elaborate or name the state.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an global chemical weapons watchdog organization said Thursday that its team is en route to Syria and will begin work Saturday to investigate the attack. The Syrian government denies responsibility.

Senior Russian figures have warned of a Russian response to a U.S. attack. Indeed, the Assad regime would not have carried out the attack in Douma if it didn't think it could handle another barrage of cruise missiles.

Ned Price, a former Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Council official during Obama's tenure told AFP the agreement led to the destruction of 1,300 tons of chemical weapons, but, he admitted, it was not enough.

Mr Trump's decision to announce in highly inflammatory language on Twitter that missile strikes are imminent, rather than retaining an element of surprise, raised eyebrows among military chiefs.

"I'm not ready to speculate that that would happen", Mattis said. In a reference to the USA, he said that "it would only benefit those who are protected by the ocean and expect to sit there and engage in continuous efforts to stir up the region in order to advance their geopolitical goals". It was not clear whether the presence of the investigators could affect the timing of any US military action.

"I think U.S. strikes on Assad infrastructure are likely to come", Associate Professor Ozlap said. The Trump administration is trying to coordinate its response with other allies, including France and Britain.

Trump also knocked Obama for drawing a "red line" with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over his use of chemical weapons.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Tuesday it would send "shortly" a fact-finding mission to Douma. Russian Federation has blamed Syrian opposition forces for the attack.

"Right now this is a one-time shot", he said but did not rule out further attacks.

The fact-finding mission from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was expected to head to Douma, where the suspected attack took place and where Russian Federation said rebels had now capitulated to government control. One government flag was raised in the town, a war monitoring group said.

Douma and the sprawling eastern Ghouta region near the capital, Damascus, had been under rebel control since 2012 and was a thorn in the side of Assad's government, threatening his seat of power with missiles and potential advances for years.

Eastern Ghouta had been the biggest rebel stronghold near Damascus, but insurgent groups there surrendered after a series of ferocious government assaults aided by Russian Federation under a massive bombardment.

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