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Trump puts off Syria strike decision, will talk to allies

15 April 2018

"Japan can not make a judgment on whether Assad's government forces really used chemical weapons", a senior Foreign Ministry official said of the latest attack.

Trump has slammed Russian Federation for its partnership with "Gas Killing Animal" Assad, spurring concerns that a USA strike could lead to a conflagration with Russian Federation, which has major military facilities at Tartus and Khmeimim and works cheek-by-jowl with Syria forces that could be targeted.

Top-level Israeli security officials met Wednesday to prepare for scenarios in which Israel is attacked by Iran or Syria, following a tweet by U.S. President Donald Trump declaring he would bomb Syria. "You don't have to be partners with animals that kill their people and take pleasure in it!" he said.

A Syrian lawmaker said on Thursday he did not believe the USA would attack Syria over the chemical attack accusations against Syrian troops.

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"The Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirms that the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) team is on its way to Syria and will start its work as of Saturday 14 April, 2018", the watchdog said in a statement on Thursday.

"At the highest level, the presidents of the United States and France threatened a tough reaction, with the use of force against Syria".

Analysts agreed that in striking Syria without U.N. authorization - impossible given Russia's repeated vetoes on the Security Council - the United States, Britain, France were relying instead on a nebulous concept of "legal morality".

During his testimony, Mattis spoke about a possible strike against Syria.

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Meanwhile, the Assad regime denies using chemical weapons and called the images from the attack fake.

"It's too bad that the world puts us in a position like that", said Trump, as Defense Secretary James Mattis headed to the West Wing to present options for a retaliatory strike.

In London, British Prime Minister Theresa May held an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss support for United States action against the Syrian regime.

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 US ground troops in Syria; he insisted he could not talk about military plans because an attack "is not yet in the offing". Sarah Sanders said the Trump administration will follow whatever laws and regulations were necessary for any actions that it takes. U.S. lawmakers questioned whether Trump has the legal authority to order strikes without Congressional approval and opposition parties voiced concern.

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Trump puts off Syria strike decision, will talk to allies