United States concerned about triggering wider war as it weighs strike on Syria

Having second thoughts? Mattis says US ‘still assessing intelligence’ on alleged Syria attack

Defense Secretary Mattis told the Congress that the United States is committed to ending Syria civil war through Geneva process, blames Russian Federation for being complicit in Syrian regime's retention of chemical weapons.

Explosions are being heard to the east, west and south of Damascus as the US, United Kingdom and France conduct airstrikes in retaliation for an alleged chemical attack by the Syrian government on its own people.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis says the US and its allies have taken "decisive action" against Syrian chemical weapons infrastructure. "Our strategy is to engage by, with and through allies in all things we do".

The safety secretary says Friday's strikes have "despatched a clear message" to Assad and his "murderous lieutenants".

Assad has used "chemical weapons to murder women, children and other innocents".

Trump says that last Saturday, Syrian President Bashar Assad deployed chemical weapons in what was a "significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very awful regime".

Trump last week said he wanted to pull out of the war-torn nation, but this week taunted Assad ally Russian Federation with boasts of an impending missile strike.

Asked how Trump should respond to the alleged Syrian chemical attack, Sen.

Mattis also said it was impossible any chemicals could be released by United States attacks on putative chemical storage sites, sharply insisting "of course not". "We were very precise and proportionate".

The US fired more than 118 missiles in "precision strikes" on Syria on Friday night.

"On a strategic level, it's how do we keep this from escalating out of control", he said.

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"Well, I am glad he is considering retaliatory action".

Asked about the claims, Dunford said the USA has seen an attempt from Syria to take out missiles with their own defense system.

However, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., ranking Democrat on the committee, warned a soaring deficit is facing the United States as a result of an expanding budget and the military must prepare for tough questions on spending in the future.

Despite Twitter posts this week from Mr. Trump suggesting a missile strike was imminent, the White House said late Thursday that Mr. Trump and his advisers had not made a final decision on an attack.

The retired four-star general stressed that the targets were chosen "to hurt the chemical weapons program" while at the same time avoiding civilian casualties and a broader escalation in the region. The second was a chemical weapons storage facility. We were not out to expand this, we were very precise and proportionate.

They characterized this year's strikes as more significant than the one waged last year, saying double the number of weapons were used this time.

In addition, the U.S.

He said under Article 2 of the US constitution, the US President has all the powers and rights to protect US interests and nation security. "So they did make adjustments".

President Donald Trump is reiterating his call to have other nations take on more of the burden in Syria.

The United States launched cruise missiles at Assad's armed forces previous year after a similar gas attack. He did, however, say Syrian surface-to-air missiles were deployed against the attack, and did not believe Russian Federation responded at all.

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