During a phone call late on Thursday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump agreed on the need to deter chemical weapon use in Syria. The White House said he would consult further with allies.
The U.S. and its allies threatened military action after an alleged gas attack by government forces over the weekend that Syrian opposition activists and medics say killed more than 40 people. British officials said up to 75 people were killed.
The Foreign Ministry in Damascus denounced Trump's threat as "reckless" and a danger to global peace and security. "We are continuing to assess intelligence and are engaged in conversations with our partners and allies".
"When the commander in chief speaks publicly about a potential military action, it creates boundaries and limits on what his subordinates can offer him as options", Mr. Ryan said. He said Assad's forcers should then push east of the Euphrates River, where USA troops are embedded with Kurdish forces. "It is to drive this to a United Nations -brokered peace but, at the same time, keep our foot on the neck of ISIS until we suffocate it", referring to the Islamic State extremist group. It "could be very soon or not so soon at all", he said.
Later Thursday he was noncommittal.
Now in residence at the Nobel Institute in Oslo, Norway, O'Connell says reprisal attacks are a serious breach of the United Nations charter.
Trump tweeted an attack on Syria "could be very soon or not so soon at all", raising the prospect that an attack might not be as imminent as he seemed to suggest the day before. "Military force after an incident are reprisals, which have been expressly forbidden by the U.N".
The Iranian nuclear deal, formerly known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was struck in 2015 between Iran and China, the USA, U.K., Russia, France and Germany.
Syria's attempt to shelter aircraft, perhaps by locating them alongside Russian military hardware that Washington might be reluctant to hit, could limit damage that the United States and its allies might be able to inflict on Assad's military.
At the eye of the storm, Assad said any Western action "will contribute nothing but an increase in instability in the region, threatening worldwide peace and security", Syrian state television reported. Initial reports indicated the use of chlorine gas, possibly in addition to the nerve agent Sarin.
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The Russian military insists that the Douma attack might have been staged, adding that its units, dispatched to the site, found no traces of chemical weapons. It was not clear whether the presence of the investigators could affect the timing of any USA military action.
Russian Federation has described the reports of a chemical attack as a "provocation" created to justify Western intervention. "Those who target citizens with chemical weapons should be held accountable, but the way accountability is imposed must also comply with the law".
To put it simply, the USA troops are there to combat ISIS. "We are not seeking an escalation", she concluded.
Erdogan says Turkey's warming ties with Russian Federation and Iran are "not an alternative" to its traditional ties to the West, adding that Ankara would "fight until the end" against Russia's support for Syrian President Bashar Assad and against USA support to a Syrian Kurdish militia that Ankara has labelled a terrorist group.
"It looks like Trump backed off a little bit and wants to build a coalition, sending a signal to the broader market that he is going to be much more careful than people thought".
He had claimed missiles were "coming" and would be "nice and new and smart". "And we know how well that turned out".
Separately on Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Berlin would not join any military strikes against Syria, but supports efforts to show the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable.
Russian lawmakers have warned the United States that Moscow would view an airstrike on Syria as a war crime and that it could trigger a direct U.S-Russian military clash.
US President Donald Trump attends a meeting with senior military leaders at the White House on April 9, 2018.
"I think certainly some of what we are seeing is a little bit of geopolitical premium (but) I don't think it is just about Syria", Richard Mallinson, geopolitical analyst at Energy Aspects, told CNBC's "Street Signs" Thursday.