Ethiopia supports probe into alleged chemical attack in Syria

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

"I refer you to the White House to characterise the president's tweet", a Pentagon spokesman said.

Russia's Black Sea fleet is also in closer proximity to the Syrian coast than US forces amid reports that the fleet has been on a heightened level of alert since at least mid-March. He said that Russia has "the necessary means for that, and the Americans and their allies know that quite well".

Trump justly portrays Obama's failure to uphold his "red line" as the root of much of the evil in Syria today (although at the time, Trump said we shouldn't retaliate against Syria - we should "stay the hell out", he opined).

A WHO statement Wednesday did not confirm outright that a chemical weapons attack had taken place. "The conflict in Syria is predetermined, to my mind".

"Our strategy remains the same as a year ago", he said.

It first sent fighters across the border into Syria in 2012, and helped stem insurgent advances in Homs province before helping Assad go on the offensive.

The Syrian MP pointed out that all chemical arms factories which had recently been exposed in Syria belonged to terrorists. "Could be very soon or not so soon at all!", the President tweeted.

Later Thursday he was noncommittal.

"A perfectly executed strike", President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday in the aftermath of his second decision in two years to fire missiles against Syria.

While U.K. Prime Minister May isn't required to seek parliamentary approval, it's accepted that lawmakers will have a say before committing military forces. He was clear that future use of chemical weapons by the regime would trigger another U.S. military response.

At an emergency meeting Saturday of the U.N. Security Council, Russian ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said Russian experts on the ground in Douma found no evidence of a chemical attack.

The Syrian government has denied the allegations and said the rebels were fabricating the incident to give a pretext to the US and its Western allies to strike Syria.

"Once again, all options are on the table", she said. Residents of Damascus came there to rally and march, away from the heavy security in the capital.

They have documented 34 chemical weapons attacks in Syria since 2013, including 26 which they attribute to Syrian government forces, the most recent one on the Harasta frontline in eastern Ghouta in Nov 2017.

NBC News reported on Tuesday that Russia has learned how to use GPS jammers to limit the capabilities of US drones operating over Syria. The U.S. has about 2,000 troops deployed chiefly in the country's north, where they support Kurdish troops fighting Islamic State.

"The intelligence provided certainly paints a different picture", she said of the Kremlin's theory.

Rep. Adam Smith, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said he sees no legal justification for a U.S. strike in Syria, absent explicit authorization by Congress. More broadly, he doubted the wisdom of bombing.

Assad has been blamed for previous attacks by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and UN-backed war crimes investigators. "Not to react is to prove to the rest of the world that what we say does not matter".

But Syria's attempt to shelter aircraft, perhaps by locating them alongside Russian military hardware that Washington might be reluctant to strike, could limit damage that the United States and its allies might be able to inflict on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's military.

Opposition Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable told the BBC that parliament "can and should be recalled immediately" to hold a vote on the latest possible action.

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