Syria says USA threats 'reckless escalation': state agency

A child affected by an alleged chemical attack in Syria over the weekend.               Syria Civil Defense White Helmets via APTN

Mrs May had agreed with Mr Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron that a chemical weapons attack, believed to have been carried out by the Assad regime on Saturday and which killed 43 people, could not go unchallenged.

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis as well as military personnel responsible for America's sea-based Aegis missile defence system huddled at the White House on Wednesday to discuss options. The president is also speaking with allies in Great Britain and France about a possible coordinated effort, though German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday her country would not participate in possible military action in Syria. "The President has a number of options at his disposal and all of those options remain on the table".

Trump did not detail what a strike on Syria would look like, or whether these would be US missiles.

Did Trump tip his hand?

Pentagon officials are probably urging Trump to target factories where Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces are preparing chlorine and other chemical agents used against rebels and civilians, assuming those are known.

The reaction from Assad backer Moscow is unpredictable and Russian Federation has threatened retaliatory action against the United States if missiles are fired at Syria.

President Donald Trump's national security team has met to discuss the USA response to the Syrian government's apparent use of chemical weapons on its own people.

By avoiding hitting Russian forces in Syria, experts told Business Insider the United States runs a much lower risk of a conflict escalating.

The USS Donald Cook, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, is within easy striking range of Syria, as is a French frigate with its own cruise missiles.

Britain has not yet reached a decision on how to respond to a suspected poison gas attack in Syria, Brexit minister David Davis said on Thursday, adding that any move would be considered very carefully and be based on evidence. We already knew it.

Trump on Wednesday warned Russian Federation to "get ready" for a missile attack on its ally Syria, suggesting imminent retaliation for last weekend's suspected chemical weapons attack. That warning was made to avoid casualties among Russian military advisers in Syria.

And there is real risk to the great powers, too, as Trump's inclusion of Russian Federation in his remark about forthcoming answers makes starkly clear.

"Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria". "It is not unusual for them to be in the Mediterranean, and they have been used to hit targets in North Africa in the past". In the past two months, the US' NATO allies Turkey have invaded northern Syria to crush the independent Kurdish city of Afrin, a centre of activity by the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). But the same officials also said Trump's direct threat was unexpected.

"New, stealthy JASSM missiles could be delivered by B-1B and B-52 (and now likely F-15E and F-16)", Mount said.

"They are the guarantors of law and order in the town", RIA news agency quoted Russia's Defense Ministry as saying.