Mattis says: "I believe there was a chemical attack in Syria"

Trump Wants to Make 'Major Decisions' on Syria in Next '24-48 Hours'

Mattis: US 'still assessing' suspected Syria chemical weapons attack

"I believe there was a chemical attack.

In many cases, you know we don't have troops, we're not engaged on the ground there, so I can not tell you that we had evidence, even though we had a lot of media and social media indicators that either chlorine or sarin were used", Mattis said, speaking to members of the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

"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.

There have been several similar attacks this year, he told lawmakers, but the US did not have troops in those locations because the not engaged on the ground there.

"I don't want to get into the details of a potential decision by the commander in chief", Mattis told Rep. Niki Tsongas, D-Mass. "It's too bad the world puts us in a position like that". "We're trying to stop the murder of innocent people, but on a strategic level, it's how do we stop this from escalating out of control?" His comments came before he went to the White House Wednesday afternoon for a meeting on Syria.

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Any U.S. military strikes against Syria raise the possibility of a wider conflict with Russian Federation, which has backed the Syrian regime militarily and has troops and private contractors on the ground.

"Some things are simply inexcusable, beyond the pale and in the worst interest of not just the chemical weapons convention but of civilisation itself", Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee. About 2,000 USA military personnel are in Syria. Russia's ambassador to Lebanon said any missiles fired at Syria would be shot down and the launching sites targeted - a stark warning of a potential major confrontation. Now you can look back to a year ago when we did fire missiles into Syria unrelated to ISIS and that was of course the use of chemical weapons.

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

Trump earlier Wednesday warned Moscow that "nice and new and "smart" " missiles would be headed to Syria. At a photo-taking session during a Pentagon meeting with his Dutch counterpart, Mattis was asked by a reporter whether he had seen enough evidence to blame the Syrian government.

The United States, France and Britain are finalising plans for an expected strike against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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President Trump, on the other hand, has firmly blamed Assad and his ally Russian President Vladimir Putin for the alleged attack, and said the administration would decide on a response soon. The attack destroyed Syrian aircraft but left Assad in power.

"I believe there was a chemical attack and we are looking for the actual evidence", Mattis told a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee, warning one of his top concerns about any USA military strike was preventing an "out-of-control" escalation in that country's war, in which Russia, Iran, Turkey and others have taken sides.

Mr. Trump did not detail what a strike on Syria would look like, or whether these would be USA missiles.

But he suggested in another tweet early Thursday that there was no timeline for a US response. There is no reason for this, he wrote, adding that "Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do, and we need all nations to work together".

On Thursday, President Trump tweeted that he never provided a timeline for strikes against Syria in response to a suspected April 7 chemical attack. It is in the United States' best interests that worldwide agreements banning the use of chemical weapons be obeyed, he said.

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Court documents say Andreev was working in the Bulgaria office of AW-Tronics, a Miami export company, when he sold dual-use goods - articles with both civilian and military uses - to the government-owned Syrian Arab Airlines.

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