20:07 GMT25 October 2020
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    Tensions Mount as Douma Provocation Triggers Syria Strike Threat (107)

    The US president has said that he is discussing with military leadership the situation surrounding the alleged chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma, which he slammed as a "heinous" act against innocent civilians.

    Donald Trump said at a cabinet meeting that "major decisions on Syria" will come in the next 24 to 48 hours after he figures out who was responsible for the alleged attack in Douma — Russia, or Syria, or Iran, or "all of them together."

    The Washington Examiner reported, citing unnamed Pentagon officials, US military leaders have devised several possible plans for a military action response in Syria. One option includes a strike similar to last year's when the United States launched 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian Air Force airfield in Homs, the report said.

    But President Donald Trump could choose an even stronger option against President Bashar Assad of Syria, the report said.

    When asked by reporters about the military option in Syria, Donald Trump said after the meeting that "nothing is off the table."

    The US State Department in a separate statement said that consultations with allies were ongoing on the alleged chemical attack, adding that "there will be consequences for this unacceptable atrocity."

    In the meantime, London and Berlin have condemned the alleged attack. UK Prime Minister Theresa May stated that if reports about Damascus' use of chemical weapons Douma were confirmed, then the government of President Bashar Assad and its allies, in particular, Russia, must be held accountable. German government spokesman Steffen Seibert called on Russia not to veto in the UN Security Council a probe into the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

    READ MORE: OPCW-UN Syria Sarin Attack Probe Based on Staged Proof, Professor Tells Sputnik

    On Sunday, Trump accused Russian President Vladimir Putin, Moscow and Tehran of backing Syrian President Bashar Assad amid reports about the chemical attack in Douma, adding that Damascus would pay a "big price."

    On the same day, the Russian Defense Ministry strongly denied the allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, warning against strikes on Syrian territories where the Russian troops were deployed from abroad. A source in the Syrian government also rejected the allegations, adding that Damascus' forces don't need chemical weapons to eliminate terrorists in Eastern Ghouta.

    Several media outlets, citing militants, blamed on April 7 the Syrian government for conducting a chemical attack in the town of Douma near Damascus. 

    Tensions Mount as Douma Provocation Triggers Syria Strike Threat (107)


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    chemical attack, Donald Trump, Douma, Syria, US