12:21 GMT08 July 2020
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    Speaking ahead of his Monday evening meeting on Syria with military advisers, United States President Donald Trump said he had not made a decision on the US response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, but said it "will be met forcefully."

    The president stated that some type of decision about the US response would be made tonight or "shortly" afterward. It's not clear what direction the president is leaning; however, the White House, Pentagon and Trump himself have been eager to promulgate that many military options are on the table. 

    "We're making a decision as to what we do with respect to the horrible attack that was made near Damascus," he said. The decision would be made "tonight or very shortly thereafter."

    The president also noted that the US had a number of military options to consider regarding Syria, and that "the power" of the US could be used to prevent any more such attacks.

    On Monday, the UN Security Council met to discuss the alleged attack in which at least 40 people died. Framing the discussion, UN Special Envoy to Syria noted that the body has been "unable to independently verify" the incident.

    Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya suggested that inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons could be escorted by Russian and Syrian forces to the area under contention within 24 hours. UK envoy Karen Pierce was receptive to this suggestion. The UK, US, and French sides have pointed the finger at the Syrian regime, with Russian support, while Russia and Syria have called for investigations into allegations of chemical weapons use. 


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