No "final decision" yet on Syria response, White House says


The suspected poison gas attack in Douma, which killed more than 40 people, has drawn global outrage and prompted the United States and its allies to consider a military strike on Syria, something Moscow has strongly warned against.

"The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war", said Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia.

Russian Federation accused Washington of putting worldwide peace at risk and requested a United Nations meeting in NY later in the day but it was not confirmed that it will happen.

Western powers are thought to be preparing for strikes but Russian Federation, a Syrian ally, opposes such action.

This would increase the risk of a clash with the Russian forces in Syria to defend Assad, and United Nations chief Antonio Guterres warned the Security Council to beware a "full-blown military escalation".

The Russian military claims the alleged attack was staged and directed by Britain. A French frigate, UK Royal Navy submarines laden with cruise missiles and the U.S.S Donald Cook, an American destroyer equipped with Tomahawk land attack missiles, have all moved into range of Syria's sun-bleached coast. "This is a promise", Syrian Ambassador Bashar Jaafari told the UN Security Council.

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Meanwhile, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) says experts are travelling to Syria and will start investigations on Saturday. The latest allegations against Assad raises the question of what Washington should do after another potential round of military action.

McInerney says another critical element is to confirm the chemical attack actually came from the Syrian government.

Those include settling on a target list and crafting an attack to avoid provoking a standoff with Russian Federation - a key ally of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Another US official familiar with how the US intelligence is unfolding regarding the chemical attack tells CNN that the initial intelligence assessment - that a chemical agent was used - is based on viewing the videos and comparing the shown physical effects with what is known about both chlorine and nerve agents.

Similarly, French President Emmanuel Macron said he had "proof" that the Syrian government had attacked Douma with chemical weapons, without giving further details.

He also said: "We are using the veto in order to protect worldwide rule of law, peace and security, to make sure that you do not drag the Security Council into your adventures".

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"They agreed to keep working closely together on the worldwide response".

In March, Russia's General Staff said rebels were planning a "provocation" in Eastern Ghouta with women and children set to play victims of a chemical attack.

He "regretted" the Russian veto at the U.N. Security Council which prevented a "united and firm response" after a suspected gas attack last week in Douma, Syria.

Meanwhile, France and the United Kingdom have been openly considering participating in a strike and sending forces to the region. Mr Trump wrote on Twitter, raising the prospect that an attack might not be as imminent as he seemed to suggest the day before.

He further noted that given the United States' domestic problems, the country's issues with Russian Federation, and the ongoing investigations into Trump's case, and, in general, the overall domestic situation in the USA, the country will not launch a massive strike against Syria. CGTN's Nathan King reports from the White House. "But now we have to make some further decisions, so they'll be made fairly soon", He said. "So they'll be made fairly soon".

Defense Secretary James Mattis strongly urged the president during a meeting on Thursday to rethink his attack on Syria.

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Russian Federation has described the reports of a chemical attack as a "provocation" created to justify Western intervention. He said, "I have agreed with the historically cooperative, disciplined approach that we have engaged in".