UK Cabinet to discuss military action in Syria

Syrian official news agency SANA soldiers and residents salute civilians after they were released by the Army of Islam group that had held them since 2013 in Damascus Syria early Monday

The Times reports that "the largest U.S. air and naval strike force since the 2003 Iraq war" is now heading towards Syria, and that US-led strikes are expected to begin "within the next three days".

When asked about a possible USA missile strike on Syria earlier this week, Mattis said that he does not "rule out anything right now".

The 105 missiles launched overnight in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack in Syria targeted three chemical weapons facilities, including a research and development in Damascus' Barzeh district and two facilities near Homs, Pentagon officials said.

Peskov wouldn't say if Moscow could use a Russian-U.S. military hotline to avoid escalation in the event of a U.S. strike, saying only that "the hotline exists and has remained active". He added it would have an "utterly destructive impact on the Syrian settlement". Syria has strongly denied the accusations.

Syria's President, Bashar al Assad, said a possible attack on his country could trigger regional instability. "We continue to believe that it is important not to take steps that could harm an already fragile situation", Peskov stressed.

A Syrian lawmaker said on Thursday he did not believe the US would attack Syria over the chemical attack accusations against Syrian troops.

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The French president, who said he was in daily contact with President Trump, said any strikes would go after Syria's "chemical capabilities". "We'll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon", he said. "You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!" "Could be very soon or not so soon at all!"

Parliament voted down British military action against Assad's government in 2013, in an embarrassment for May's predecessor, David Cameron.

Meanwhile, the Russian military said the Syrian government is now in full control of Duoma, once held by rebels opposing Assad. He spoke during a meeting with Ali Akbar Velayati, an aide to the supreme leader of ally Iran.

Since Saturday, when images of ashen toddlers struggling for breath emerged from Douma - the main city in the Eastern Ghouta enclave near Damascus that has been a crucible of revolt against Bashar Al-Assad's regime - there has been a sustained military buildup in the eastern Mediterranean.

The same officials say Syria has continued to produce or procure chlorine, which also has industrial and agricultural uses.

These "voices" and "any possible action" from the West "will contribute nothing but an increase in instability in the region, threatening worldwide peace and security", the Syrian leader stressed, speaking to Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

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