Donald Trump cancels major trip as chemical weapons experts travel to Syria

Smoke rising after Syrian government air strikes hit in the town of Douma

Options include limited military strikes, such as the Tomahawk missiles launched from a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Mediterranean targeting a Syrian airstrip nearly exactly a year ago after an alleged chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib that killed more than 100 people.

Trump's decision follows a change of plans yesterday by Secretary of Defense Mattis who was scheduled to be in San Francisco for a speech Saturday.

Asked in Berlin whether she supports the idea, German Chancellor Angela Merkel responded unenthusiastically, saying that "the evidence that chemical weapons were used there is very, very clear".

That attack prompted the USA to launch several dozen Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base. The White House announced Tuesday that he would do so.

Both Syria and its main backer, Russia, have denied responsibility and have claimed the reports were fabricated to justify a US attack on Syria.

As NPR reported, Syria accused Israel on Monday of carrying out a raid on the Tiyas air base in central Syria in a pre-dawn raid.

Syria, backed by the Russian air force, has already liberated nearly all Eastern Ghouta and has reached an evacuation deal with the terrorists to leave Douma, their last stronghold in Eastern Ghouta region.

The OPCW already says it is investigating but that so far only a "preliminary analysis" had taken place.

But whether a team would try to get there was unclear. President Emmanuel Macron warned in February that France would strike Syria if it broke treaties prohibiting chemical weapons.

"Syria is keen on cooperating with the OPCW to uncover the truth behind the allegations that some Western sides have been advertising to justify their aggressive intentions", state news agency SANA said, quoting an official Foreign Ministry source.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Russian ambassador Grigory Logvinov was given the stark warning on Tuesday, after threats his country would use its veto power.

April 10, 2018: Russian Federation vetoed a US-drafted resolution after 12 countries backed the measure.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday canceled plans to travel to South America this week, choosing to stay home to manage what USA officials hope will be an global response to Syria's apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians.

Trump said: "We have a lot of options militarily".

The UN Security Council rejected a draft USA resolution, which proposed a new inquiry to establish who was to blame.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the Security Council that adopting the U.S. -drafted resolution was the least that member nations could do.

France said it would respond if it was proven that Assad's forces carried out the attack. Sandy Winnefeld, the targets are likely to be more valuable.

Seven Iranians were among the estimated 14 people killed in the missile strike, and a senior Iranian official visiting Damascus said the attack "will not remain unanswered". That's according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss internal deliberations.

The attack in Douma happened late on Saturday amid a resumed offensive by Syrian government forces after the collapse of a truce with the Army of Islam rebel group.

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