Donald Trump cancels South America trip because of Syria crisis

Donald Trump cancels South America trip because of Syria crisis

Russian Federation said on Tuesday it will propose to the United Nations that worldwide inspectors visit the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack in the Syrian town of Douma, a move which follows US President Donald Trump's warning of quick, forceful action in response to the incident.

The assessment also suggested that a never agent was used in the suspected poison attack, but further evidence was needed to determine the type of agent, United States government sources told the news agency.

Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime is suspected of carrying out the attack, though President Donald Trump has also criticized Russian Federation and Iran for "backing" Assad.

In his tweets Sunday, Trump called Assad an "animal" and delivered a rare personal criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin for supporting him.

The US president and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron agreed in a phone call that chemical weapons had been used in Douma.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday he is outraged by the reported attack, and that the use of chemical weapons would be a violation of worldwide law.

Jarrod Agen, a spokesman for Pence, said the vice president plans to promote policies aimed at strengthening the USA economy and would continue to work with regional allies to pressure Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to enact democratic reforms ahead of an election next month that has been slammed by the opposition and regional leaders as a sham.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that as of Monday night, troops have been on a 72-hour alert and are fortifying their positions.

"What Russia is trying to do, it strikes me, Mr President, is to turn the debate in this Council away from a discussion of the use of chemical weapons into a dispute between East and West, presenting itself as the victim".

Rescuers and medics in Douma say more than 40 people died after the suspected poison gas attack in the last rebel-held pocket of the one-time opposition stronghold of Eastern Ghouta.

Syria and Russian Federation have denied there was a chemical weapons attack and have proposed worldwide inspections.

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Their evacuation, along with their families, came as the United Nations Security Council prepared to meet later on Tuesday to discuss a suspected poison gas attack on Douma over the weekend.

He said that Russian Federation has "the necessary means for that and the Americans and their allies know that quite well".

United States defence secretary Jim Mattis earlier raised the possibility of military action if Syria is found to be responsible.

Trump is faced again with the choice of conducting a limited strike that might not even deter Assad from future chemical attacks or a wider response that risks drawing the US deeper into a global conflict.

Lord Hague, who was foreign secretary when then prime minister David Cameron lost a Commons vote he wanted to back action in Syria, said the aftermath of the defeat left the United Kingdom "enfeebled spectators of one of the most destructive conflagrations of our time". Vice President Mike Pence will attend the 8th Summit of the Americas in his place, the White House said in a press briefing Tuesday.

The trip was set to have been Trump's first visit to South America as President.

Telling the gathered officials that recent developments carry more danger than ever, he said that "different fault lines that are completely crossing each other and are interconnected" and escalation could "have absolutely devastating consequences that is hard for us to even imagine". Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said he and Mr. Trump "see eye to eye" on Syria.

This image from the Syrian Civil Defence White Helmets shows medical workers treating children from the effects of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Douma on April 7.

Following a chemical attack in northern Syria past year, Trump launched air strikes against Syria. A US Navy guided-missile destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, is in the Mediterranean.

Seven Iranians were among the estimated 14 people killed in the missile attack, and a senior Iranian official visiting Damascus said the attack "will not remain unanswered". The guided missile destroyer is armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, the weapon of choice in a USA attack one year ago on an airfield in Syria after a sarin gas attack on civilians.

The Syrian government, in a statement posted on the state-run news agency SANA, denied the allegations. His statement comes nearly exactly a year after he fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airbase in response to a chemical weapons attack against civilians.

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