Monday, 21 May, 2018

Trump weighs military options in Syria

US President Donald Trump US President Donald Trump
Sammy Stanley | 15 April, 2018, 19:55

Rep. Adam Smith, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said he sees no legal justification for a usa strike in Syria, absent explicit authorization by Congress. "Following a discussion in which every member present made a contribution, cabinet agreed it was vital that the use of chemical weapons did not go unchallenged", it read. On Thursday, Trump tweeted that an attack "could be very soon or not so soon at all!"

Since Saturday, when images of ashen toddlers struggling for breath emerged from Douma - the main city in the Eastern Ghouta enclave near Damascus that has been a crucible of revolt against Bashar Al-Assad's regime - there has been a sustained military buildup in the eastern Mediterranean.

"Get ready Russian Federation, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'" Mr Trump said in an early morning tweet on Wednesday.

A French frigate, UK Royal Navy submarines laden with cruise missiles and the USS Donald Cook, an American destroyer equipped with Tomahawk land attack missiles have all moved into range of Syria's sun-bleached coast.

Trump has never been skeptical of war, but he seeks to avoid regime change projects because his nationalist agenda has no place for the cost and responsibility of foreign nation-building (and, in recent years, cycles of insurgency, military surge, and reconstruction) they inevitably incur. "We have the proof that chemical weapons - at least chlorine gas - were used by Assad's regime", Macron told France's TF1 television.

The British Prime Minister Theresa May has called emergency meeting of her cabinet amid reports she is ready to give the green light for the United Kingdom to join any military action.

The U.S., France and Britain have been in extensive consultations about launching a military strike as early as the end of this week, U.S. officials have said.

Woman's Body Found Near Where SUV Plunged Into River With Family
The family are known as 38, Soumya Thottapilly Sandeep Thottapilly , 4 1; 12, Siddhant Thottapilly; 9, and Saachi Thottapilly. The authorities, who had originally said the body found was of a child, said an autopsy would be performed early next week.

But across Western capitals opposition to military action also grew.

National security experts anxious about whether strikes would actually serve to deter Assad.

Since the alleged chemical weapons attack, Moscow has announced that Douma is "totally stabilized" and will be patrolled by Russian military police.

But the pinpoint strike did not deter Assad and USA officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have since investigated as many as 10 suspected chemical attacks.

"The president holds Russian Federation and Syria responsible for this chemical weapons attack", Sanders said, adding that the intelligence reports provided to the United States do not support Russia's assertion that the attack was staged by the so-called White Helmets. Syria's official SANA news agency reported.

The OPCW, which works to rid the world of chemical arms stockpiles, said its experts were on their way to Syria and will start their work on Saturday.

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