Assad's strongest ally, Russia, helped turned the war in his favour after sending its air force to Syria in 2015. In the year since Trump's Tomahawk attack, Assad appears to have used poison gas, showing that a US response has its limits. We must sanction these two countries to the likes never seen before. For example, after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman indicated in Paris that Saudi Arabia could join a punitive raid on Syria over the use of chemical weapons, the Saudis blamed Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen for firing missiles at Riyadh. Assad has maintained his bloody dictatorship by destroying the country, killing hundreds of thousands of his people, and forcing almost half of the original population of 22 million people into displacement. But, he added, "we see the suffering of the Syrian people on a daily basis".
Trump's administration has sought to show toughness on Russia, with a series of economic and diplomatic actions, including new sanctions last week against government officials and oligarchs.
Such weapons, and especially mustard gas, which blistered skin and lungs, seemed so sinister that the 1925 Geneva Protocol banned their use in war, but not their development.
More than 70 people "sheltering in basements" in Douma died on Saturday, the organization said, and 43 of these deaths were related to "symptoms consistent with exposure to highly toxic chemicals".
Residents of Douma who recently evacuated the town spoke of a police state run by the militants.
Last month, Britain blamed Russia for a nerve agent attack on an ex-spy and his daughter, accusations Russia has vehemently denied.
Russian military said it had observed movements of US Navy in the Gulf.
The Syrian army has put its forces on high alert after the US threat. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad.
"We're still assessing the intelligence, ourselves and our allies", Mattis said. Trump wrote on Twitter, raising the prospect that an attack might not be as imminent as he seemed to suggest the day before. "I suspect, however they'll think long and hard about it". The "enormous consequences" Obama threatened turned out to be.
"WHO demands immediate unhindered access to the area to provide care to those affected, to assess the health impacts and to deliver a comprehensive public health response", Peter Salama, the agency's deputy director-general for emergency preparedness and response, said in a statement issued in Geneva, according to The Guardian. He said the strikes were unlikely to curb the government's ability to produce or launch new attacks.
Macron went further in an interview with France's TF1, suggesting the gas used was chlorine.
Trump seemed to be backtracking from his Wednesday tweet, which warned Russia to brace for missiles which "will be coming". The absence of American diplomacy from the Syrian arena has led to the spectacle of so-called peace conferences being attended only by Russia, Turkey, and Iran.
The ongoing deliberations reflected the conundrum Trump faces as he contemplates wading further into Syria's multi-sided civil war.
France said it would consider a response with the United States and Britain.
In warning against a missile strike, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday that such a move could destroy evidence on the ground and interrupt the work of international investigators. Its critics say it seeks to cement regional power extending through Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.