Syria and Allies Ready for War If Trump Attacks, Official Says

UK Cabinet to discuss military action in Syria

UK Cabinet to discuss military action in Syria

The prospect of a military escalation in Syria comes after members of the United Nations Security Council failed to agree on a concerted worldwide response on Tuesday.

Russian Federation is a major backer of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country's civil war, and strongly opposes the USA claim that Syrian government forces attacked a rebel-held town near Damascus on Saturday with chemical weapons.

Before that, Abe will meet Trump in the United States next week with the aim of getting Japan's interests on the agenda of a proposed meeting in May or June between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But he tweeted Thursday that it may come "very soon or not so soon at all!"

The U.S. and its allies have threatened to take military action in response to an alleged chemical attack last weekend.

Mr. Mattis said he personally believes Syria is guilty of an "inexcusable" use of chemical weapons, while noting that the worldwide fact-finding team would likely fall short of determining who was responsible.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says he believes there was a chemical attack in Syria and that the United States is looking for the evidence.

Russian Federation has warned the West against attacking its Syrian ally, which is also supported by Iran, and says there was no chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma.

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


Prime Minister Theresa May held an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss joining mooted strikes by the USA and allies, with ministers agreeing "on the need to take action", her Downing Street office said in a statement.

Erdogan says Turkey's warming ties with Russian Federation and Iran are "not an alternative" to its traditional ties to the West, adding that Ankara would "fight until the end" against Russia's support for Syrian President Bashar Assad and against USA support to a Syrian Kurdish militia that Ankara has labelled a terrorist group.

British media reported that United Kingdom submarines in the Mediterranean have been ordered to move within range of Syrian targets ahead of May's decision expected later on Thursday. The Cabinet agreed on the need to "take action" to deter further chemical weapons use by Assad, but added that May would continue to consult with allies to coordinate an worldwide response. The Lebanese carrier Middle East Airlines has temporarily halted all flights over Syrian airspace, and Kuwait Airlines is suspending all flights landing in Beirut's Rafik Hariri Airport.

A separate YouGov survey on Thursday found 61 percent of people think it would be necessary for parliament to vote on military action against Syria, with just 18 percent saying it was not necessary and 21 percent undecided.

Britain continues to support the US-led coalition targeting IS jihadists in Iraq and Syria, and has conducted more than 1,700 strikes.

The US, France and Britain have been consulting about launching a military strike in Syria.

In Syria, there are reports that forces allied with the Syrian government have been relocating from various military sites and bases in anticipation of a possible attack.

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