As Trump Threatens Strike, US Troops Are Still Stationed In Syria

Bodies of the victims of an alleged chemical attack in rebel-held Douma Syria

U.S. special forces patrol the roads between Manbij and Al Bab city in 2017.

The President of the United States Donald trump blamed for the chemical attack in the city of Duma in Syria and Russian Federation.

Trump met at the White House with the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who told reporters that he and Trump "see eye to eye" on the Syria problem.

In a tweet, Trump said: "Never said when an attack on Syria would take place".

Trump seemed to be backtracking from his Wednesday tweet, which warned Russian Federation to brace for missiles which "will be coming".

French President Emmanuel Macron claimed that the country had "proof" the Assad regime used chemical weapons in Douma and would support any United States action.

Should the United States decide to take the mission a step further, it could also attempt to degrade Damascus' ability to use chemical weapons - not just discourage their use.

"We are trying to stop the murder of innocent people".

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, as well as Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo, huddled at the White House on Wednesday to discuss options and game out the situation.

Russian Federation and Iran called the use of force by the U.S. and its allies a "military crime" and "act of aggression".

"We will try to make it better but it is a troubled place", Trump said. After lauding global cooperation in a United Nations speech past year, Macron now finds himself planning a military attack without a UN mandate - hence his need for allies.

The decision to strike, after days of deliberations, marked Trump's second order to attack Syria.

The comments come a day after the president, apparently reacting to comments made by the Russian ambassador to Lebanon that Moscow would shoot down any missiles fired at Syria, warned the Motherland that the missiles "will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'"

But since then he's suggested he'll wait for further advice from military advisers and USA allies.

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Mattis said the targets selected by U.S., British and French officials were meant to minimize civilian casualties.

The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that 43 people had died in Saturday's attack on the town of Douma from "symptoms consistent with exposure to highly toxic chemicals", and more than 500 in all had been treated.

The U.S., France and Britain were in extensive consultations about launching a military strike as early as the end of this week, U.S. officials have said.

Trump on Thursday also suggested he did not get enough credit for United States gains against ISIS in the region.

US, British and French attack aircraft, including two US Air Force B-1B strategic bombers, launched stealthy, long-range missiles from outside Syrian airspace, officials said.

Speaking on TF1 television, Macron said that France would not tolerate "regimes that think everything is permitted".

The United States and several of its allies have focused on Syrian forces as being responsible, while Syria and Russian Federation have denied President Bashar al-Assad's military carried out a chemical attack.

Those comments go further than U.S. officials have been willing to in public.

"Right now this is a one-time shot and I believe that it sent a very strong message to dissuade (Assad), to deter him from doing this again", he added.

In his televised address from the White House on Friday evening, Trump said the USA was prepared to sustain economic, diplomatic and military pressure on Assad until the Syrian leader ends what Trump called a criminal pattern of killing his own people with internationally banned chemical weapons.

One way to ensure Assad can not use such weapons is to conduct strikes on his chemical infrastructure, including by targeting factories and weapons holding areas.

Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said on her Facebook page that, "One must be really exceptional to strike Syria's capital when the country finally got a chance for a peaceful future".

Trump also called out Russia's promise in 2013 that they would guarantee the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons.

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