Syria says U.S. using 'lies, fabrications' to attack it

If the strikes are aimed at destroying the chemical capabilities of the regime, as suggested by Macron, "we can go very far", Duclos said, warning against one-off strikes.

Trump did not detail what a strike would look like, or whether these would be USA missiles.

Asked in a TV interview whether France would join strikes on Syria, he said: "We will need to take decisions in due course, when we judge it most useful and effective".

A day after saying missiles would be flying toward Syria, President Trump sowed uncertainty about his plans Thursday by claiming he never said "when" there would be an attack.

Wednesday, the World Health Organization reported that roughly 500 people in Douma, a suburb of Damascus, have symptoms like those suffered by people exposed to toxic chemicals.

In response, Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a Facebook post that "smart missiles should fly towards terrorists, not towards the lawful government", referring to Syrian rebels and Assad respectively.

Trump said anyone responsible for the attack, including Russian Federation, will "pay a price", and has cancelled a planned trip to Latin America to oversee the US response.

The worldwide chemical weapons watchdog, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, said on April 10 that it was sending a team of experts to the site of the Douma attack to gather evidence.

That would take a broad Syria policy that shows the USA president is serious, a policy (and a president) that we have yet to see.

The Russians cautioned the US against striking Syria as it had done after the Assad regime's deadly Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack in 2017.

At stake in Syria is the potential for confrontation, if not outright conflict, between the US and Russian Federation, former Cold War foes whose relations have deteriorated in recent years over Moscow's intervention in Ukraine, its interference in the 2016 USA presidential election and, most recently, its support for Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The presidential tweet vowing an upcoming strike - which also taunted Russia's pledge to stop any missiles - was weird and counterproductive.

A strike that hits Russian assets in Syria - even if unintentionally - could result in a risky game of one-upmanship, potentially dragging the U.S. further into a conflict the president wants to leave.

Trump's tweet on Syria, issued before 7 a.m. Washington time, followed a fresh call from the Kremlin for the United States to refrain from striking Assad's government or its forces.

Russia's ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin told Hezbollah's al-Manar TV on Tuesday that United States missiles "will be downed".

Any military move against Syrian government forces carries numerous risks.

As permanent members of the council, Russian Federation and the USA vetoed each other's proposals to set up independent investigations. The Syrian government denies responsibility.

In 2013, Parliament defeated a call by then-Prime Minister David Cameron for air strikes in response to an earlier chemical attack in Syria.

The Syrian official asserted that nothing Washington and its allies do will stop Syria's fight against terrorism.

  • Leroy Wright