Mattis: Time for 'civilized nations' to unite to end Syria civil war

Top general US did not notify Russia on Syria targets

Western strikes early Saturday hit Syrian military bases and chemical research centres in and around the capital, a monitor said, as the USA announced a joint operation against the Damascus government.

Earlier Thursday, Trump appeared to walk back earlier comments in which he warned Russian Federation to brace for missiles which he said "will be coming".

As a result of this attack at least 70 people died.

Trump's new national security adviser John Bolton has been ever-present in the deliberations, U.S. officials said. National security officials were expected to confer again on Friday at the White House, though press secretary Sarah Sanders indicated the session would be among deputy-level officials, not top-ranking aides. The United States and allies struck Syria Friday night and Russian Federation has promised that the attack will come with consequences.

Trump said he would make a decision "fairly soon" about a strike.

America, along with assurance from France and the United Kingdom, launched a response Friday in opposition to the regime of Syrian chief Bashar al-Assad days after his authorities allegedly used chemical weapons on its residents. And he insisted it remains United States policy not to be involved directly in Syria's civil war. "It is to drive this to a UN-brokered peace but, at the same time, keep our foot on the neck of Isis until we suffocate it".

He said he became convinced Thursday, after he expressed those doubts.

Later he was noncommittal. He did, however, admit that while the USA is confident on chlorine gas being involved, he wasn't clear what gas was released.

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Mattis said options would be discussed with Trump at a meeting of his National Security Council on Thursday afternoon (Friday NZT).

Last year, the United States only waged strikes on Syria after determining that more deadly sarin gas was used and some US media had reported that Washington was confident Assad had also used sarin on April 7. "This evening, we conducted strikes with two allies on multiple sites".

He also said that the trust and coordination among the allies(France & UK) were very crucial in conducting today's strikes.

Mattis told lawmakers there are "a lot of ways to respond to the violation of the chemical weapons convention - diplomatically, economically, militarily".

In London, the British Cabinet had "agreed that the Assad regime has a track record of the use of chemical weapons and it is highly likely that the regime is responsible for Saturday's attack", Downing Street said in a statement. The strikes were in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack in Douma, near Damascus. The Cabinet agreed on the need to "take action" to deter further chemical weapons use by Assad, but added that May would continue to consult with allies to coordinate an global response.

Russian Federation warned of "consequences" in the wake of the attack.

Syria's capital has been rocked by loud explosions that lit up the sky with heavy smoke as U.S. President Donald Trump announced airstrikes in retaliation for the country's alleged use of chemical weapons.

President Donald Trump is reiterating his call to have other nations take on more of the burden in Syria.

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