French president claims 'proof' Syria used chemical weapons in deadly attack

UN Security Council

As for whether or not the USA military is ready for action in Syria, he said: "We stand ready to provide military options if they're appropriate, as the President determines".

World powers have threatened a strong response to Saturday's attack, with French President Emmanuel Macron saying Thursday he had "proof" Syria's government was behind it.

"Some things are simply inexcusable, beyond the pale and in the worst interest of not just the chemical weapons convention but of civilization itself", Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee.

"Never said when an attack on Syria would take place".

Moreover, Syria does not have any chemicals weapons including chlorine that was allegedly used over the weekend in Douma, Syrian Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar Jaafari said in a Security Council meeting.

"We have got to look at the use of chemical weapons, whether it be in Salisbury England or in Syria, as something that's inexcusable and it's got to be addressed, and Russian Federation prevents the United Nations from dealing with it, we can sit acquiescent, or we can do something about it". "We're trying to stop the murder of innocent people, but on a strategic level it's how do we keep this from escalating out of control, if, if you get my drift on that".

"France will not allow any escalation that could harm the stability of the region as a whole but we can't let regimes that think they can do everything they want, including the worst things that violate worldwide law, to act", Macron said.

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Haley said Russian Federation was to blame for the council's failure to take action on Syria , now in its 8th year of war. Medical sources say dozens were killed in the alleged attack but exact numbers are impossible to verify.

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"Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria". Mattis said USA troops in the country are at risk given the brutal tactics of Assad's regime.

"We're still assessing the intelligence, ourselves and our allies", Mattis said. A joint military operation, possibly with France rather than the U.S.in the lead, could send a message of worldwide unity about enforcing the prohibitions on chemical weapons and counter Syria's political and military support from Russian Federation and Iran.

"The use of chemical weapons in Syria is not something we should assume: Well, because he didn't use them on us this time, he wouldn't use them on us next time", said Mattis, who also promised to have the Pentagon's lawyers provide Congress with a formal reply. "Protection of our forces, I don't think we need to wait until they are under chemical attack when the weapons are used in the same theater we are operating in".

"Both the last administration and this one made very clear that our role in Syria is the defeat of ISIS", Mattis said.

Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, chairman of the House committee, noted the military is in a better position budget-wise this year.

Russian lawmakers have warned the United States that Moscow would view an airstrike on Syria as a war crime and that it could trigger a direct U.S-Russian military clash.

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