Trump to skip South America summit to focus on Syria

US President Donald Trump has cancelled a trip to South America which was scheduled to begin on Friday, April 13, to monitor America's response to Syria and developments across the globe, the White House informed on Tuesday, April 10.

Early Tuesday morning, Trump tweeted that "attorney-client privilege is dead!"

The fast-paced developments threatened to further hike tensions between the United States and Russian Federation, which has in the past warned against any U.S. military action against President Bashar Assad's government.

US President Donald Trump has promised a "forceful" response to the alleged chemical attack in Syria.

That official was not authorized to speak publicly and commented only on condition of anonymity.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, in separate remarks at the Pentagon, also suggested Moscow bore some blame.

"President Trump last week signaled to the world that the United States would prematurely withdraw from Syria", McCain said in a statement. The three countries are discussing a range of options, including preventing Assad from conducting future attacks by striking military capabilities involved in carrying out such attack, the official said.

"If it's Russian Federation, if it's Syria, if it's Iran, if it's all of them together, we'll figure it out", he said. "Get ready Russian Federation, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'" Instead, it cited reports that 70 people who were sheltering in basements were killed, with 43 of the deaths "related to symptoms consistent with exposure to highly toxic chemicals".

Increasingly hostile Russian actions pose a threat on a number of fronts, including cyber espionage, she said. During one speech, he said, "We must as a nation be more unpredictable. It can not be allowed to happen", Trump said.

"So, we'll be looking at that barbaric act and studying what's going on".

Trump remains engaged in intensive consultations with United States partners, principally French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May, on a coordinated response to the attack. The Defense Ministry said Syrian defense units destroyed five of the incoming missiles.

Trump has pressed his foreign counterparts and his aides to develop options that go further than strikes he ordered a year ago on a Syrian airfield in response to another chemical weapons attack.

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Moscow said it warned the USA of "grave repercussions" if it carried out an attack against Syrian government forces.

The veto comes after the US Ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation described Syrian President Bashar al Assad's actions as genocide, and said Russian Federation was propping him up. But questions remain about how much bigger the response this time may be, and how willing USA partners are to join in. "We're still working on this".

There is no legal requirement on the Government to seek parliamentary approval before ordering military action but it has become convention to consult MPs, except in the event of an emergency.

The scale of the US's strike "depends on the risk appetite", Bronk said, as the USA will be "risking escalation directly with the Russians".

Russia, in turn, vetoed the US-backed motion, which would have re-established an worldwide Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) to probe chemical strikes in Syria and to identify culprits.

France also issued a denial.

David Cameron lost a historic Commons vote in 2013 over launching airstrikes on the Assad regime to deter its use of chemical weapons, damaging his credibility. "But at the same time, he wants to make sure that [Syrian President Bashar Assad] is deterred from chemical weapons attacks on innocent civilians, and we think you can have separation".

Russia's United Nations ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, urged inspectors from the watchdog agency to fly to Syria's capital today and visit the site in a nearby rebel-held town.

Earlier Wednesday, Mattis told reporters the USA was "still assessing the intelligence" on whether the Assad regime is to blame for the attack. Trump wrote on Twitter.

"Smart missiles should fly toward terrorists, not the legal government that has been fighting worldwide terrorism for several years on its territory", Zakharova wrote.

The Syrian government strongly denied it carried out a chemical weapons attack and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said it has opened an investigation.

Assad's Damascus regime, which has long accused Washington of supporting its armed opponents in the country's bloody seven-year-old civil war, hit back at Trump's "reckless escalation".

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