Suspected Chemical Attack in Syria: What We Know and Don't Know

Trump Cancels Trip to Latin America, Citing Crisis in Syria

Trump Cancels Trip to Latin America, Citing Crisis in Syria

Moscow is estimated to have dozens of aircraft at its Hmeymim air base in Syria including fighters and bombers, as well as 10 to 15 warships and support vessels in the Mediterranean. That attack triggered a swift decision by Trump to launch a fusillade of Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airbase. The Syrian government has denied any involvement in launching the chemical attack. With U.S. help, they are helping clean up the last pockets of ISIS.

Mattis was expected to voice those concerns in Thursday's meeting at the White House, according to US officials. The man who was U.S. president when Adolf Hitler committed suicide 30 Aprils after Germany's 1915 gas attack had been Capt. Harry Truman in 1918 when his artillery unit fired shells containing some of the chemical agents that the Allies had developed in response to what Germany did in 1915. Moscow warned against any strikes and threatened to retaliate.

Moreover, Assad directly has targeted hospitals and civilian neighborhoods with barrel bombs, killing hundreds of times the number who have died from chemical weapons.

She was one of 30 Conservative MPs to reject possible UK military action against Syria to deter the use of chemical weapons, after a vote was called by the then-Prime Minister David Cameron.

Such weapons, and especially mustard gas, which blistered skin and lungs, seemed so sinister that the 1925 Geneva Protocol banned their use in war, but not their development.

On Monday, the world awaited action by President Donald Trump, evidently the only major leader able and willing to punish Assad for despicable acts of terror against noncombatants in a grinding civil war. "Just more Fake News from a biased newspaper!"

"If really our president would like to do something about Syria, he should stop showing off and stop the empty threatening of Assad", said Khairullah, who left Syria in 1992. Area of atrocity is [on] lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world.

Macron and May both suggested on Thursday that enough evidence had been gathered to pin blame for the attack on Assad. Assad remains unconvinced of that and will rule the rubble. Putin and Macron instructed their foreign and defence ministers to maintain close contact to "de-escalate the situation", the Kremlin said. "There is no reason for this".

To that end, Washington must realize that limited military strikes on selective targets will not bring about the desired results. France is already involved in the U.S. -led coalition created in 2014 to fight the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

"The US has to be very careful not to accidentally strike Russian targets or kill Russian advisers", said Ben Connable, a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. "I suspect, however they'll think long and hard about it".

For his part, Velayati congratulated President Al-Assad and the Syrian people for defeating terrorist groups in East Ghouta, a 115-square-kilometer agricultural region east of Damascus that was in the hands of extremists since 2012.

The Pentagon refused to comment further on potential future military operations in response to Trump's tweet.

Vice President Mike Pence, in Peru for a meeting of regional leaders, said "there will be a price to pay" involving military force if Syrian chemical weapons are used again.

Russia and Iran called the use of force by the United States and its allies a "military crime" and "act of aggression".

The Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Assad's government had been asked to make necessary arrangements for an OPCW investigation team to visit shortly.

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