No 'final decision' from Trump on Syria

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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. "So we're looking at that very strongly and very seriously".

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph has claimed that British submarines have been ordered to move within missile range of Syria amid reports about an imminent United States strike on President Bashar Assad's forces.

The Cook - named after a Marine Colonel who suffered depravation and starvation as a Vietnam prisoner of war - has past experience tangling with the Russian military, having been deployed to the Black Sea during the recent crisis in Crimea.

Syria 'Chemical Attack': US Weighs Up Military Response
No 'final decision' from Trump on Syria

Assad's main ally Russian Federation has repeatedly issued warnings to the United States that it will shoot back at missiles, warships and jets if they strike against Syria, bringing the U.S. and Russian Federation into direct conflict for the first time.

"The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war", said Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia following closed-door Security Council talks.

Trump had vowed to take swift and decisive action against Syria since reports of a suspected poison gas attack on a rebel enclave that killed dozens of people. On Thursday, however, he tweeted: "Never said when an attack on Syria would take place". "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.

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That may prove too little, too late.

Ms Pierce added: "I will take no lessons in worldwide law from Russian Federation".

"All the indications are that the Syrian regime was responsible". "We have the proof that chemical weapons - at least chlorine gas - were used by Assad's regime", Macron told France's TF1 television.

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In London, British Prime Minister Theresa May held an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss support for U.S. action against the Syrian regime. It was not clear whether the presence of the investigators could affect the timing of any US 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.

National security experts anxious about whether strikes would actually serve to deter Assad. The US government is talking about "a response" after accusations that Damascus conducted a chemical attack in Douma based on unverified claims.

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

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