USA has blood samples verifying chemical attack

USA has blood samples verifying chemical attack

Trump has claimed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's administration has used chemical weapons.

The United States is consulting with Britain and France about a joint military response to an alleged toxic gas attack in the rebel-held town of Douma that medics and rescuers said left at least 40 people dead on Saturday.

At the House hearing, Democrats grilled Mattis on the wisdom and legality of Trump ordering an attack on Syria without explicit authorization from Congress. Mattis argued it would be justified as an act of self-defense, with 2,000 USA ground troops in Syria; he insisted he could not talk about military plans because an attack "is not yet in the offing".

President Donald Trump on Thursday put off a final decision on possible military strikes against Syria after tweeting earlier that they could happen "very soon or not so soon at all".

In Paris, France's Emmanuel Macron upped the pressure on Moscow by stating he had "proof" that the Assad's regime had used chemical weapons, and vowing a response "at a time of our choosing". Trump notably did not rule out plans to attack Syria in retaliation for the weekend's suspected chemical attack on civilians at the hands of the Assad regime.

The Syrian government denies responsibility.

By supporting Assad, Russia's actions are "prejudicial to our security" and will let the Islamic State group "re-establish itself" - something that "we believe we need to take action to defend", said Pierce.

"You are a minority Government, and you need to seek the consent of Parliament before you commit the United Kingdom to any action". "We need to know where that's going, what the goal of it is before we take that act".

Echoing the United States stance, France's Ambassador Francois Delattre said Assad's government had reached a "point of no return" with repeated use of chemical weapons.

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May spoke with President Trump on Thursday night about the global response to Syria, and they "agreed that the Assad regime had established a pattern of unsafe behaviour in relation to the use of chemical weapons", according to the Downing Street.

After meeting for more than two hours, the Cabinet gave May the green light to join the USA and France in planning possible strikes, but also left open the possibility of other responses.

In the call, the two leaders had agreed that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "had established a pattern of unsafe behaviour in relation to the use of chemical weapons", Downing Street said.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable told the BBC: "Parliament can and should be recalled immediately and a vote held on this issue".

May is not obliged to win parliament's approval, but a non-binding constitutional convention to do so has been established since a 2003 vote on joining the USA -led invasion of Iraq.

Formally, the prime minister has the right to go to war without approval from parliament, but a convention has been established in previous conflicts where MPs have a vote either before or shortly after military action begins.

"I think it is important to have a common line, without Germany participating militarily", Merkel said.

But British involvement in further military intervention is controversial at home, in a country still haunted by its role in the US-led invasion of Iraq. France has 650 troops based in the United Arab Emirates overall.

In Syria, French warplanes carried out 23 sorties in late March and early April but fired no strikes, as part of support for Syrian opposition forces fighting in the last pockets of IS control.

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