No "final decision" yet on Syria response, White House says


No "final decision" yet on Syria response, White House says

Trump says the strikes are a "direct result" of Russia's failure to keep Syria's Assad from using chemical weapons RELATED: What the USA is doing in Syria The United States, along with assurance from France and the United Kingdom, launched a response Friday against the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad days after his government allegedly used chemical weapons on its citizens.

Trump spoke from the White House Friday night.

In New York, Russia's United Nations ambassador warned the priority in Syria was to avert US-led strikes that could lead to a confrontation between the world's two preeminent nuclear powers.

The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a brief statement after Trump met with Mattis and other members of his National Security Council: "No final decision has been made".

Sanders adds that USA officials are "continuing to assess intelligence" and are "engaged in conversations with our partners and allies".

In a televised address to the nation, US President Donald Trump said the three nations had "marshalled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality".

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she authorized the coordinated response in order to degrade the Assad regime's chemical weapons capability.

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The French president, Emmanuel Macron, confirmed that France was involved in the air strikes, saying the French role would be limited to Syria's chemical weapons facilities.

"Our strategy remains the same as a year ago", he said.

On Monday, Mr. Trump said a decision on how to respond to the attacks would come in "24 to 48" hours.

Later Thursday he was noncommittal.

President Donald Trump announced "precision strikes" on Syria on Friday, in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack that reportedly killed dozens of people there earlier this month. In that strike, on April 7, 2017, the USA launched 59 cruise missiles on a Syrian military airbase. The continuing involvement of American forces in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, where the US has fought extended conflicts since September 11, 2001, continues to be a source of consternation for him.

On Sunday, the day after the attack, the USA president said Russian President Vladimir Putin bore responsibility for the "atrocity" in rebel-held Douma, because of his support for the Syrian government. The statement made no specific reference to military action. "Let these united actions send a clear message to the regime - the use of chemical weapons is categorically unacceptable and you will be held to account". Initial reports indicated the use of chlorine gas, possibly in addition to the nerve agent Sarin. "On Thursday, Mr. Trump tweeted that missiles, "new" and "'smart'" are coming. That then deterred the US administration of Barack Obama from similar action.

"This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very awful regime", Trump said, adding that they were the "crimes of a monster".

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Asked about the risks of US military retaliation, Mattis cited two concerns, starting with avoiding civilian casualties.

Trump told Moscow on Wednesday to "get ready" for an American missile strike in Syria, after a Kremlin diplomat said that any rockets aimed toward Russian forces there - as well as any plane or ship that fired them - would be targeted. More broadly, he doubted the wisdom of bombing.

Britain has launched air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria, but not against the country's government.

"I'm not going to say which day we absolutely knew that there was proof".

Trump also accused Russian Federation and Iran of being "responsible for supporting, equipping, and financing" Assad's regime: "What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women, and children", Trump asked.

Trump continued: "Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path or if it will join with civilized nations as a force for stability and peace".

Western powers are thought to be preparing for strikes but Russian Federation, a Syrian ally, opposes such action.

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