As Russia warns against United States strike, Trump threatens missiles

"These voices, and any possible actions will only contribute to further destabilisation in the region", he said in comments posted on the Syrian presidency's social media accounts.

PARIS: Western strikes against the Syrian regime in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons could affect Bashar al-Assad´s military apparatus and push Russian Federation to return to the negotiating table, but also spark tensions in the region, according to experts.

On Thursday afternoon, Mr Trump held extensive talks on Syria in a meeting that included his defense secretary James Mattis, joint chief of staffs Joseph Dunford, director of national intelligence Daniel Coates, ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, new national security adviser John Bolton and others.

"Since the first reports of alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma, Syrian Arab Republic, were issued, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has been gathering information from all available sources and analyzing it", according to it's website.

"We are still considering a number of those, and a final decision on that front has not been made", she told reporters. Moscow, Tehran and Damascus have all denied responsibility for the attack.

The Russian ambassador to Lebanon said during an interview on Tuesday with Hezbollah-owned al-Manar TV that "if there is a U.S. missile attack, we - in line with both Putin and Russia's chief of staff's remarks - will shoot down United States rockets and even the sources that launched the missiles".

A recent rally in oil prices to multi-year highs is about much more than the deepening crisis in Syria, analysts told CNBC Thursday. "We don't want bombardment which leads to escalation and a hot war between the U.S. and Russian Federation over the skies of Syria".

Asked if he was referring to war between the U.S. and Russia, Nebenzia said, "We can not exclude any possibilities unfortunately because we saw messages that are coming from Washington".

Addressing communication between Russian Federation and the US, Ms Zakharova said the fact there had been no US secretary of state for the past two months was an issue. "Get ready Russian Federation, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'", Trump wrote in a post on Twitter.

Moscow has warned against any escalation that could trigger a conflict between the United States and Russian Federation, and has called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting on Friday.

Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member, has backed rebels in Syria who are trying to oust Assad.

Russian military police have been deployed on the ground to take over Douma's security, Russian news agency RIA reported.

Behind the scenes, diplomats at the United Nations are trying to calm the war of words.

That may prove too little, too late.

The alleged poison gas attack took place in Douma on April 7, hours before the town's last rebels surrendered.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based war monitor, also said pro-Syrian government forces were emptying main airports and military airbases.

Depending on the strength of the strikes, Bashar al-Assad´s regime could be deterred from resorting to chemical weapons in the future.

"The President will speak with President Macron and Prime Minister May this evening".

He did not say whether France was planning military action.

There is no guarantee lawmakers would rubber-stamp a decision for military strikes.

In April previous year Trump ordered Tomahawk strikes on the Shayrat Airbase in response to a similar chemical weapons attack on rebel-held Khan Sheikhun. Frankly, we're already politely ignoring Assad's frequent use of chlorine barrel bombs. But the same officials also said Trump's direct threat was unexpected.

Moscow and Washington stymied attempts by each other at the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday to set up worldwide investigations into chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

  • Salvatore Jensen