Trump weighing all options on Syria: WH

A Tactical Tomahawk Cruise Missile launches

At stake in Syria is the potential for confrontation, if not outright conflict, between the US and Russian Federation, former Cold War foes whose relations have deteriorated in recent years over Moscow's intervention in Ukraine, its interference in the 2016 USA presidential election and, most recently, its support for Syrian President Bashar Assad.

In London, British Prime Minister Theresa May held an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss support for USA action against the Syrian regime.

But a special hotline for the U.S. and Russian militaries to communicate about operations in Syria is active and being used by both sides, Moscow said Thursday.

Her office said that May had talked with US President Donald Trump by telephone on Thursday evening to discuss Syria.

Some MPs have backed Britain acting against Syria, warning that the use of chemical weapons was in breach of worldwide law and could not be allowed to go unpunished.

"They agreed to keep working closely together on the global response", the statement concluded.

The White Helmets, a Syrian civil defense agency, blamed the Assad regime for the Saturday night chemical attack in the city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta, which it said killed 78 civilians and injured hundreds of others. These are the questions and opinions we should be exploring in relation to the war in Syria and the discussion engendered by politicians on the way forward.

Trump has never been skeptical of war, but he seeks to avoid regime change projects because his nationalist agenda has no place for the cost and responsibility of foreign nation-building (and, in recent years, cycles of insurgency, military surge, and reconstruction) they inevitably incur. He added that Washington seems determined to take military action in Syria and this is risky.

Russian soldiers ride on armoured vehicles through a street in Aleppo Syria

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Wednesday that MPs "should always be given a say on military action".

A YouGov poll in The Times conducted this week found that 43 percent of voters oppose strikes in Syria, with 34 percent unsure and only 22 percent supportive. The country often has restricted itself to supporting roles, such as the participation of reconnaissance jets in the global campaign against the Islamic State group.

Asked to comment on possible USA strikes, Peskov said "it's necessary to avoid any steps that may fuel tensions in Syria".

Opposition Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable told the BBC that parliament "can and should be recalled immediately" to hold a vote on the latest possible action. Trump tweeted Wednesday that missiles "will be coming" and on Thursday tweeted that an attack "could be very soon or not so soon at all!"

Anti-conflict coalition Stop the War called on Britons to lobby their lawmakers to prevent an "escalation of the war" and planned a Friday protest outside Downing Street.

"So striking at Syria is not a good solution, but doing nothing after the use of chemical weapons is even worse", he said.

Conservative former London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith, tweeted: "We need a clear response to the Syrian chemical outrage".

"We have not yet made any decision to launch military attacks into Syria", Mattis told lawmakers on the House Armed Services committee.

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