U.S. concerned about triggering wider war as it weighs strike on Syria

U.S. concerned about triggering wider war as it weighs strike on Syria

"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", Mattis said during the meeting, the Washington Free Beacon reported. The allied operation comes a year after the United States missile strike that Trump said was meant to deter Assad from further use of chemical weapons.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters earlier that the National Security Council would be meeting on Friday afternoon to discuss plans for responding to the incident in Syria.

Asked about concerns in planning a strike on Assad's regime, Mattis cited worry over inadvertently causing civilian casualties and avoiding anything that would trigger a wider war.

The recognition of Syria's complexities "means you are at times. going to see contrary impulses", Mattis said.

A briefing from the Pentagon about the situation in Syria is expected Friday night, an hour after President Donald Trump announced that airstrikes have been ordered on the nation.

"We have not yet made any decision to launch military attacks into Syria", Mattis told Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii.

"We specifically identified these targets to mitigate the risk of Russian forces being involved", Dunford told reporters, adding the USA military advised Russia of airspace that would be used in the strike but did not "pre-notify them". Defense Department officials said that will include trying to get more commitments from allies of help immediately after any strikes.

"This wave of air strikes is over and that is why we're out here speaking to you now", Dunford said.

Medical sources and activists in Syria say following the alleged chemical attack last Saturday that blood, urine and hair follicle samples were smuggled in batches to Turkey during evacuations by the Syrian regime of rebel groups and their families.

"Good souls will not be humiliated", Syria's presidency tweeted after airstrikes began. Other medical facilities are not located in Douma.

Syria and Russian Federation have both denied the accusations, and the global chemical weapons watchdog said its team would begin its investigation on Saturday.

On Thursday, President Trump tweeted that he never provided a timeline for strikes against Syria in response to a suspected April 7 chemical attack.

The world knows the Syrian people have suffered terribly under the prolonged brutality of the (President Bashir al-) Assad regime.

The Russian Center for Reconciliation sent inspectors to Douma, finding no trace of chemical weapons use.

Asked about the risks of United States military retaliation, Mattis cited two concerns, starting with avoiding civilian casualties.

Dunford then went into detail about the military strategy regarding the strike.

"We meet under rather different circumstances than a year ago". He said the USA has "a lot of media and social media indicators that either chlorine or sarin were used". "We do need to get the budget under control".

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