Asked about possible USA strikes on Syria, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that "it's necessary to avoid any steps that may fuel tensions in Syria". None of the three countries' leaders had made a firm decision, according to the officials, who were not authorized to discuss military planning by name.
Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, on Friday accused Russian Federation of lies and covering up for Assad, which she said had used chemical weapons at least 50 times in the past seven years of warfare.
Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused the United States, France and Britain of stoking global tensions by engaging in a "confrontational policy against Russia and Syria".
The President was speaking after Sunday's chemical attack on the Syrian town of Douma, which killed 40.
Asked in Berlin whether she supports the idea, German Chancellor Angela Merkel responded unenthusiastically, saying that "the evidence that chemical weapons were used there is very, very clear".
In the previous strike, US missiles were in any case launched on trajectories that had put them out of reach of Russian air defenses and in such a way as to avoid accidentally causing them to think Russian forces were being targeted. Multiple IS attacks have targeted French soil, including one last month.
"We're still assessing the intelligence, ourselves and our allies", Mattis said.
If driven into a corner by a USA attack, Putin will be unlikely to sit back.
A U.S. official says one option is hitting the Assad regime's command and control headquarters for the country's military.
What is less clear is whether sarin - the agent used in the chemical attack that prompted USA missile strikes previous year - or a similar agent was also used.
"If possible, he'll want to do serious damage to Assad's ability to carry out these kinds of heinous attacks", Hannah said.
Asked whether France would take military action, Macron said his country will continue discussing technical and strategic information with USA and British allies and "in the coming days we will announce our decision". Another option would be to hit areas housing chemical weapons stocks.
"Our military specialists have visited this place. and they did not find any trace of chlorine or any other chemical substance used against civilians", Lavrov said.
Peskov added there were no plans for Putin to call Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron or UK Prime Minister Theresa May amid the crisis.
Trump spoke from the White House Friday night. He said "the Cold War is back - with a vengeance but with a difference", because safeguards that managed the risk of escalation in the past, "no longer seem to be present".
A potential conflict between Russian Federation and the United States in Syria may turn the tide in the entire Middle East region.
Another option - strike the locations where chemical weapons are stored.
Reacting to the reports, the United States and its allies blamed Damascus for the chemical attack, underscoring that a "history" of using such weapons by the Syrian authorities was "not in dispute".
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, however, indicated that evidence of what happened was still being studied. He was expected at a White House meeting Wednesday for further consultations on Syria.
Speaking at a White House cabinet meeting Monday, Trump said: 'It was an atrocious attack.
The OPCW, which works to rid the world of chemical arms stockpiles, said its experts were on their way to Syria and will start their work on Saturday.
Trump is consulting with worldwide allies and military advisers about a strike on Syria.
The head of the Russian military's General Staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, warned last month that a USA strike would threaten Russian military personnel in Syria and draw a Russian counterstrike against both US missiles and the ships and aircraft launching them.
Few commentators in Moscow believe that Russian Federation is willing to fire on US ships or aircraft and to engage in the major conflict that could spark.
Amid the tough talk from the White House, the USA military appeared to be in position to carry out any attack order. A US Navy guided-missile destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, is in the Mediterranean.
TASS news agency quoted Bogdanov as saying Russian Federation and US officials had "working contacts" over Syria and he believed common sense would prevail.