United Kingdom backs USA military action on Syria

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Britain's Cabinet gave Prime Minister Theresa May the green light Thursday to join the United States and France in planning possible military strikes in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria.

Mattis says the United States, along with France and the United Kingdom, struck because Syrian President Bashar Assad "did not get the message" when the USA launched airstrikes after a chemical attack in 2017.

The President said the US strikes on Syria, were launched in concert with British, French allies.

Syria's President Bashar Assad announced after a USA military strike that his country would respond, while Russia's ambassador to Washington warned of unspecified "consequences".

Western powers weighed their options on Friday over possible strikes against Syria's regime as pressure built to avoid an escalation and Russian Federation stepped up its warnings against military action which it said could lead to "war". Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier this week that Israel would not "allow" an Iranian military presence to be established in Syria.

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Syria said its air defenses were "confronting the U.S. -French-British aggression", according to the state-run SANA news agency.

The ministers said there was a need to "deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime", and alleviate the humanitarian situation, a Downing Street statement said.

Mattis said options would be discussed with Trump at a meeting of his National Security Council on Thursday afternoon (Friday NZT). Moscow is estimated to have dozens of aircraft at its Hmeymim air base in Syria including fighters and bombers, as well as 10 to 15 warships and support vessels in the Mediterranean.

Another senior official said Trump and his aides had largely settled on a consensus view on what strategy to take and that work continued on the timing and coordination with allies who plan to participate. He said that when patients were treated, strangers shouted that these people were targeted by a chemical attack, while recording with a video camera. But whatever happens, Denmark itself won't be participating in any kind of military attack on the Assad Regime. It was not clear whether the presence of the investigators could affect the timing of any United States military action.

Russian Federation has been granted a request for the United Nations Security Council to meet on Friday for fresh discussions on the threat to global peace from air strikes on Syria.

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Russian Federation has told the United States that it will not allow its troops on the ground in Syria to be put at risk by military action, even though the two countries have channels of communication to avoid such a clash.

Earlier Thursday, Trump appeared to walk back earlier comments in which he warned Russian Federation to brace for missiles which he said "will be coming".

Syria has denied using banned chemical weapons in a war that has killed more than 500,000 people and displaced half of the prewar population of 23 million.

Lavrov also hoped that there would be no repeat of the experience of Libya and Iraq in the Syria conflict.

The White House has said the mission to fight Islamic State in Syria was "coming to a rapid end" while offering no timetable for USA withdrawal.

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Shortly after Trump began a White House address to announce the action, large explosions were heard in the Syrian capital Damascus, signalling a new chapter in a brutal seven-year-old civil war.

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