US Says It's Still 'Locked And Loaded' For New Strikes In Syria

US President Donald Trump makes a statement about Syria at the White House in Washington

"If and when such a thing were to happen, then clearly with allies we would study what the options were", he said, echoing USA ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who told an emergency Security Council meeting that Trump told her that if Syria uses poisonous gas again, "The United States is locked and loaded".

The meeting followed missile strikes by the United States, France and Britain against Syrian government targets over a suspected poison gas attack a week ago. "We are prepared to sustain this pressure, if the Syrian regime is foolish enough to test our will", she said.

"This very easily could happen in the United States if we're not smart, and if we're not conscious of what's happening", Haley said during an interview with "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace.

The measure would instruct the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to report within 30 days on whether Syria has fully disclosed its chemical weapons stockpile. We set their chemical weapons program back years.Our job was never to take Assad out. "A pinpointed, limited action to punish and hopefully deter Assad from doing this again is appropriate, but the administration has to be careful about not getting us into a greater and more involved war in Syria", said Senate Minority Leader, Senator Chuck Schumer. Russia, whose ties with the West have sunk to levels of the Cold War-era, denies any gas attack in Douma and said Britain staged it to whip up anti-Russian hysteria.

"They will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to (Syrian President Bashar al) Assad and chemical weapons use".

Meanwhile, the Syrian Army announced on April 14 that eastern Ghouta, the region near Damascus where Douma is situated, had been cleared of the last rebel fighters and was fully retaken.

Trump said a small American force over the past year has virtually eliminated Islamic State control over what once was a vast territory spanning parts of Syria and Iraq.

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British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said that the legal basis used to support the British role was debatable, adding that he would only support action backed by the UN Security Council.

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and they agreed the Western airstrikes were an "illegal action. adversely impacting prospects for political settlement in Syria", a Kremlin statement said.

It comes as President Trump has defended his use of the term "mission accomplished" following the weekend's airstrikes.

Syria's air defense units shot down most of the air-to-surface missiles fired by the US-led military operation, Russia's Defence Ministry said. But they have refrained from targeting Assad's government, apart from a volley of US missiles a year ago.

"We assess that both sarin and chlorine were used in the attack", the official said.

"We wanted their friends Iran and Russian Federation to know that we meant business and that they were going to be feeling the pain from this as well", Haley said.

McKenzie said the Him Shinshar chemical-weapons storage facility near Homs was hit by 22 missiles.

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