Muslim scholars group slams chemical attack in Syria

In New York, U.N. Security Council diplomats said the United States called for a vote on a resolution that would condemn the continuing use of chemical weapons in Syria "in the strongest terms" and establish a new body to determine responsibility for chemical attacks.

Saturday's suspected poison gas attack took place in a rebel-held town near Damascus amid a resumed offensive by Syrian government forces after the collapse of a truce.

President Trump has canceled his planned trip to Latin America this week.

Haley has been a vocal critic of Russia's actions in Syria.

"We can't let atrocities like we all witnessed - and you can see that and it's disgusting - we can't let that happen", Trump said at the start of a meeting with senior military leadership on Monday, including his new national security adviser John Bolton.

In Syria, thousands of militants and their families arrived in rebel-held parts of the country's northwest after surrendering Douma to government forces. The evacuation deal restores Assad's control over the entire eastern Ghouta - formerly the biggest rebel bastion near Damascus.

Away from the UN's deliberations, a prominent Israeli military analyst said on Monday that Israel's reported strike on an Assad regime air base in central Syria early Monday had sent "a moral message that using chemical weapons is not acceptable". "I think that it is outrageous to say that the president of the United States green-lit something as atrocious as the actions that have taken place over the last several days", she said.

Video: What will the U.S. do in Syria? This reflects a view in the White House that deeper Russian and Iranian involvement in Syria have complicated calculations about a response to any USA military attack, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Trump said Monday, "We are getting some very good clarity", regarding who was responsible, a task that has been hard throughout the Syrian war and the source of conflict among the many worldwide players involved.

Theresa May will speak to Donald Trump and lead a meeting of the National Security Council to discuss the suspected chemical attack in Syria.

A U.S. action similar to last year's would likely not cause a shift in the direction of the war that has gone Assad's way since 2015.


Earlier Monday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis took aim at Russian Federation for what he suggested was its failure to ensure the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal.

One senior Tory said he had been disappointed by the PM's response - saying "she should be all over this, and leading from the front". "A breakdown at the United Nations will also make it easier for France to justify strikes".

That attack prompted the United States to launch several dozen Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base.

"Having the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad preside over global chemical and nuclear weapons disarmament will be like putting a serial rapist in charge of a women's shelter", Hillel Neuer - executive director of UN Watch - declared in a statement. Russia's ambassador accused the USA of plotting against Moscow and Syria, threatening worldwide security, stoking global tensions and operating outside the confines of worldwide law.

"Russia is being unpardonably threatened", Nebenzia told the meeting.

Calling the attack "horrible", Trump has pledged to respond "forcefully".

If Trump decides to proceed quickly, the most likely partner would be France rather than Britain, because of concerns about obtaining permission from Parliament, said an official, who wasn't authorized to discuss the planning publicly and requested anonymity.

A European source said European governments were waiting for the OPCW to carry out its investigation and for more solid forensic evidence from the attack to emerge. He added that the use of nuclear weapons is "unlikely".

His comments, reported by the state-run Anadolu Agency on Tuesday, were in response to Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov who said Monday that Russian Federation expects Turkey to bring Afrin under the control of the Syrian government.

Trump on Monday promised a decision on Syria within hours, although he did not say when a decision would be implemented.

A group of detainees arrived in Damascus overnight Monday to Tuesday after being freed by Jaish al-Islam, state news agency SANA said.


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