Alleged Chemical Attack 'will Be Met Forcefully'

US President Donald Trump pledged later on Monday that the incident would "be met forcefully", adding that the US had a lot of military options and a decision on a response would be taken "tonight" or "shortly".

"We are studying that situation extremely closely, we are meeting with our military and everybody else and we are making some major decisions over the next 24-48 hours", he told reporters and his cabinet.

"We can not allow atrocities like that", he said.

Trump, asked at midday whether Russian President Vladimir Putin bore any responsibility for the weekend attack, responded: "He may, yeah, he may".

Israel on Monday accused Syria of "crimes against humanity" over an alleged chemical attack on a rebel-held town, saying President Bashar al-Assad's regime was responsible.

Trump - who previous year launched a missile strike on a Syrian regime air base after another alleged chemical attack - warned on Sunday that there would be a "big price to pay". His statement comes nearly exactly a year after he fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airbase in response to a chemical weapons attack against civilians.

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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the country's conflict, said 14 fighters were killed, including Syrian army officers and Iranian forces.

Trump called the attack, which left dozens dead in a rebel-held town near the Syrian capital of Damascus, "atrocious" and "horrible".

Russia, which has repeatedly said that rebels in Syria were preparing a "provocation" to prompt foreign military action, warned against acting hastily over the alleged chemical attack. The U.N. chemical weapons watchdog has started an investigation.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the U.S.is not ruling out military airstrikes against Syria in response to the government's alleged use of toxic gas against civilians.

A limited USA airstrike against Syria - similar to a year ago - is unlikely to hurt President Bashar Assad's growing strength in his country or change the course of the civil war, analysts said Monday.

"I think the notion that we would leave Syria is - was a mistake, because we haven't finished destroying ISIS, and because people like Iran and Russian Federation see a vacuum created when the U.S. leaves into which they will run", he told CNN.

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And any new action raises the risk of open conflict with Russian Federation which, like Iran, has deployed forces to defend Assad's regime.

So, how likely is it that President Trump will respond with tougher action against Russian Federation and Syrian President Assad this time?

The US State Department said Mr Johnson and his Washington counterpart had discussed "potential further steps the US and United Kingdom governments might take in coordination with other partners".

After President Donald Trump warned on Monday that there would be a "big price to pay" for the suspected attack over the weekend, the United States circulated to the 15-member council a revised draft resolution to establish an global inquiry, which it initially suggested on 1 March.

"We are on the edge of a risky precipice", Haley said. Washington denied this, and France, which in February had said it would strike in the event of a chemical weapons attack on civilians by Syrian government forces, also said its forces were not involved.

"My country, Syria, stresses its unlimited cooperation with the OPCW to fulfill the commitments stated in the convention of the prohibition of the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons", he said.

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Amid the statements from the White House, the United States military appeared to be in position to carry out any attack order. Americans rose up as one and said we do not want another Middle East war.

  • Ryan Wade