Kremlin Spokesman Warns Against Syria Strike

May told her senior ministers on Thursday that the attack in Douma showed a "deeply concerning" erosion of global legal norms barring the use of chemical weapons. That meant airstrikes, possibly in tandem with France and other allies that have expressed outrage at the alleged Syrian chemical attack, could be launched within hours of a presidential decision.

But a special hotline for the United States and Russian militaries to communicate about operations in Syria is active and being used by both sides, Moscow said Thursday.

Speaking on TF1 television, Macron said that France would not tolerate "regimes that think everything is permitted". She told her senior ministers on Thursday the Douma events showed a "deeply concerning" erosion of global legal norms barring the use of chemical weapons.

According to the statement, May described the chemical attack on Douma in Eastern Ghouta as a "shocking and barbaric act which killed up to 75 people, including children, in the most appalling and inhumane way". The Syrian government has denied the allegations.

"There has been no decision to take military action at this point".

French forces have not directly targeted Syrian government sites before, but France has supported rebel forces since early in the fighting that began in 2011. "We need to know where that's going, what the goal of it is before we take that act".

Moisi stressed the "risk of escalation" of the conflict amid increasing concerns about a U.S. -Russia proxy war.

May and Trump had also "agreed it was vital that the use of chemical weapons did not go unchallenged, and on the need to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime".

Prime Minister Theresa May was holding an emergency cabinet to discuss joining mooted strikes by the USA and allies, as rival politicians and some Conservative colleagues called for a parliamentary vote before any British involvement.

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After meeting for more than two hours, the Cabinet gave May the green light to join the US and France in planning possible strikes, but also left open the possibility of other responses.

Cabinet ministers have agreed on a "need to take action" against Syria, following a suspected chemical weapon attack that claimed the lives of dozens of people in the Damascus suburb of Douma.

Opposition lawmakers have called on May to give Parliament a vote before committing British troops.

May is not obliged to win parliament's approval, but a non-binding constitutional convention to do so has been established since a 2003 vote on joining the US -led invasion of Iraq.

Post-World War II Germany typically has been reluctant to engage in military action, and parliamentary approval is required for any military missions overseas.

The Times reports that "the largest U.S. air and naval strike force since the 2003 Iraq war" is now heading towards Syria, and that US-led strikes are expected to begin "within the next three days".

"I'm not ready to speculate that that would happen", Mattis said.

It has been observed in subsequent military deployments in Libya and Iraq and many British lawmakers and voters are deeply sceptical of deepening involvement in the Syrian civil war. France also has a naval base in Abu Dhabi, and an aviation center in Qatar at the US air base at Al Udeid.

  • Megan Austin