Syria ’chemical attack’: US weighs up military response战争一触即发！特朗普：俄国人，等着我们的导弹吧！ 时间:2018-04-13 单词数:4350
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The US says "all options are on the table" in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria, as Western leaders continue to weigh up military action.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters that a final decision on military strikes had not been taken.
But she said the US holds Russia and Syria responsible for the incident.
The US National Security Council is to meet on Thursday, while UK PM Theresa May has called a cabinet meeting.
Activists, rescue workers and medics say dozens of people died in the formerly rebel-held town of Douma on Saturday.
But President Bashar al-Assad’s government - which receives military backing from Russia - denies being behind any chemical attack.
Tens of thousands of people have reportedly left Douma through a humanitarian corridor and Russia’s defence ministry says the Syrian flag is flying there.
"Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart’ ! You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!" Mr Trump said in an early morning tweet on Wednesday.
What happens next?
The US, UK and France have agreed to work together and are believed to be preparing for a military strike in response to the alleged chemical attack last Saturday.
Defence Secretary James Mattis said the US was still assessing the chemical attack, but added that the military stood ready "to provide military options if they are appropriate as the president determines".
A US Navy guided-missile destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, is in the Mediterranean Sea.
In the UK, sources told the BBC that Prime Minister Theresa May looked ready to join military action in Syria.
French President Emmanuel Macron will reportedly decide on a response in the coming days.
He has said any strikes would target the Syrian government’s "chemical capabilities".
What is Russia’s position?
It has described the reports of the chemical attack as a "provocation" designed to justify Western intervention against its ally.
Senior Russian figures have warned of a Russian response to a US attack.
On Wednesday Alexander Zasypkin, Moscow’s ambassador to Lebanon, repeated a warning by the head of the military that missiles would be shot down and their launch sites targeted if they threatened the lives of Russian personnel.
Addressing new ambassadors in Moscow, President Vladimir Putin said he hoped common sense would prevail and that the situation would stabilise.
Mr Putin said Russia would "keep all its international obligations in full".
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