Chemical weapons watchdog preparing team to visit Syria, investigate Eastern Ghouta attack

In phone calls, Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump said those responsible should be "held to account".

The U.S. military has a wide range of warplanes and other capabilities in the Middle East.

A joint military operation, possibly with France rather than the the lead, could send a message of global unity about enforcing the prohibitions on chemical weapons and counter Syria's political and military support from Russian Federation and Iran.

Twelve of the 15 council members backed the USA -drafted measure, including France, Britain, African countries, Kazakhstan and Kuwait.

The alleged chemical weapons attack hit the town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta region in the suburban area near Damascus late on Saturday, reportedly killing at least 60 people and wounding more than 1,000 others.

The organization is made up of an worldwide team of investigators but it can not on its own determine who was responsible for the attack.

China has supported the Russian-sponsored draft resolution, stating that it would be a great improvement over the previous UN-sponsored investigative bodies for Syria. Multiple IS attacks have targeted French soil, including one last month.

The government of President Bashar Assad has denied using poison gas. It noted that some had blue skin - evidence of a lack of oxygen.

That panel had found that the Syrian regime air force had dropped sarin on the village of Khan Sheikhoun in April of past year.

"We won't let the Americans hammer nails on someone else's anvil", he said, according to TASS.

"Meetings are ongoing, important decisions are being weighed even as we speak", she said.

The president added that "nothing is off the table", including USA military action. He criticized Russian Federation for what he suggested was its failure to ensure the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal under terms of a 2013 agreement.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday that his country had sent experts to Douma and that there was "no trace" of the use of chemical weapons used there.

Citing unnamed USA officials, Reuters reported Monday that Trump is weighing a multinational military response to the purported poison gas attack. Wars can not be fought by impulse.

Earlier in the day, Russian Federation vetoed a USA -drafted United Nations Security Council resolution that would have set up an investigation into chemical weapons use in Syria following the alleged toxic gas attack in Douma.

Mrs May sidestepped questions about whether Britain would be involved in military action during a visit to Cambridge earlier on Tuesday.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis also canceled a weekend trip to San Francisco and Nevada to remain in Washington.

More White House meetings are expected before any final decision is made.

"But we can't let atrocities like we all witnessed ... we can't let that happen in our world ... especially when we're able to because of the power of the United States, the power of our country, we're able to stop it", Trump said.

Syrian government forces were on high alert and taking precautionary measures Tuesday at military positions across the country amid fears of a USA strike in the aftermath of the attack near Damascus. Moscow has cautioned the USA not to launch a military attack.

The U.S. president has blamed the Syrian leader for the attack.

The US Navy announced that the USS Donald Cook left port in Cyprus, moving within striking distance of Syria in the eastern Mediterranean.

Shamanov emphasized that a retaliatory Russian strike could target US navy ships and aircraft. The Navy does not now have a carrier in the Persian Gulf.

  • Leroy Wright