Stocks Rebound as Syria War Talk Fades; Cryptocurrencies Crack $300 billion

Elias Hubbard
April 13, 2018

The White House said Thursday that Trump met with his national security team to discuss Syria but "no final decision has been made" despite the president's tweet the previous day warning Russian Federation to "get ready" for missiles headed to Syria, its ally.

"The situation in Syria is horrific, the use of chemical weapons is something the world has to prevent", he said. "We have to make some further decisions".

President Donald Trump answers questions as he leaves the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, March 23, 2018, after speaking about the $1.3 trillion spending bill. Head of the Federation Council's Interim Commission for Information Policy and Mass Media Relations Alexei Pushkov said that the United States may conduct a military strike on Syria, but denounced it as absolutely senseless and the statement about it as President Donald Trump's "purely image story".

"Any possible action will only cause more instability in the region and threaten worldwide security and peace", Syrian state TV quoted Assad as saying at a meeting Thursday with a high-level Iranian delegation in Damascus.

At the United Nations meanwhile, diplomats were mulling a draft resolution put forward by Sweden and obtained by AFP, that would dispatch a "high-level disarmament mission" to rid the country of chemical weapons "once and for all".

"We continue to consider it extremely important to avoid any steps that could lead to more tension in Syria", Mr Peskov said.

Downing Street released a statement which said May and Trump had "agreed that the Assad regime had established a pattern of risky behaviour in relation to the use of chemical weapons".

Why do we concern ourselves with the civil war in Syria only when chemical weapons are used ["Trump vows quick response to attack in Syria", front page, April 10]? Assad's suspected chemical weapons attack shows he is willing to go to barbaric lengths to hold onto power. He called for a "strong and joint response" to the attack in the Syrian town of Douma on Saturday, which Syrian activists and rescuers say killed 40 people. Earlier on Thursday, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, said that he believes any strike against Syria would violate the UN charter.

His window for military action could be narrowing, with inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons expected to arrive in Syria to begin work on Saturday, following an invitation from Damascus. A USA guided-missile destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, is in the Mediterranean.

Syria, Russia and Iran say reports of the attack were fabricated by rebels and rescue workers in Douma and have accused the United States of seeking to use it as a pretext to attack the government. Russian Federation has threatened to use its air defenses against U.S. missile strikes.

Earlier in the week, Trump suggested he was committed to ordering strikes in Syria.

Putin spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by phone on Wednesday and urged him to do nothing to destabilise Syria.

Macron's office and the French military aren't commenting on pending plans.

The imminent arrival of the chemical weapons inspectors came as rebels in Douma surrendered their weapons and left the town for opposition-held areas in the north. Russia's military said Thursday that Douma was now under full control of the Syrian government after a Russian-mediated deal secured the evacuation of the rebels and thousands of civilians after it was recaptured by Syrian forces.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Syrian President Bashar Assad, 2nd right, meet with military personnel at the Hemeimeem air base in Syria, on Monday, December 11, 2017.

Should the President follow through on his warnings of an attack, two US Navy destroyers armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles are in position and ready to be called into action, among other assets, including jets and submarines.

The BBC reported that May was ready to give the go-ahead for Britain to take part in military action.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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