Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Global chemical weapons watchdog 'on its way to Syria'

Global chemical weapons watchdog 'on its way to Syria'

Over 60 percent of UK nationals believe that a parliamentary vote on whether London should join the United States in its possible military action against Syria should be held, a survey by YouGov pollster showed on Thursday.

The U.S., France and Britain have been consulting about launching a military strike.

May spoke with President Trump on Thursday night about the global response to Syria, and they "agreed that the Assad regime had established a pattern of risky behaviour in relation to the use of chemical weapons", according to the Downing Street.

At a congressional hearing in Washington, defence secretary General James Mattis also signalled caution, saying the president had not yet decided whether military force would be part of the U.S. response in Syria.

Half a world away in New York, Russia's United Nations ambassador warned the priority in Syria was to avert US-led strikes that could lead to a risky confrontation between the world's two preeminent nuclear powers. 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.

He previously said any French action would target Syria's chemical weapons abilities.

Citing US estimates that Assad has used chemical weapons "at least 50 times" in the seven-year war, Haley said: "All nations and all people will be harmed if we allow Assad to normalize the use of chemical weapons". Trump said Thursday on Twitter. A military operation would be a big deal for Macron, his first military action as president, at a time of heightened domestic tensions over labor law changes.

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He traveled in Peru as a young man and studied in England, and now lives in NY with his wife and two sons, the statement says. He was born in England, but at age 8 he moved to Botswana with his mother and stepfather (who gave him his first camera).

At the House hearing, Democrats grilled Mattis on the wisdom and legality of Trump ordering an attack on Syria without explicit authorization from Congress. Mattis argued it would be justified as an act of self-defense, with 2,000 USA ground troops in Syria; he insisted he could not talk about military plans because an attack "is not yet in the offing".

May and Trump had also "agreed it was vital that the use of chemical weapons did not go unchallenged, and on the need to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime".

Peskov wouldn't say if Moscow could use a Russia-U.S. military hotline to avoid casualties in a case of a U.S. blow, saying only that "the hotline exists and has remained active". "We are not seeking escalation".

Rep. Adam Smith, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said he sees no legal justification for a US strike in Syria, absent explicit authorization by Congress. "Not to react is to prove to the rest of the world that what we say does not matter".

Russia's ambassador accused the West of using allegations of chemical attacks as a pretext to advance its sole aim in Syria of overthrowing Assad and keep Moscow's influence in check.

On Wednesday, Trump appeared to suggest airstrikes were imminent, warning Russia, Syria's key ally, to "get ready" for military action.

"I think it is important to have a common line, without Germany participating militarily", Merkel said.

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