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Trump weighs Syria options, Russia envoy says he ‘cannot exclude’ war

Thompson Reuters

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WASHNIGTON — US President Donald Trump and his national security aides on Thursday discussed US options on Syria, where he has threatened missile strikes in response to a suspected poison gas attack, as a Russian envoy voiced fears of wider conflict between Washington and Moscow.

Worries about a confrontation between Russia, Syria’s big ally, and the West have been running high since Trump said on Wednesday that missiles ‘will be coming’ in response to the attack in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7, and lambasted Moscow for standing by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Trump tempered those remarks on Thursday and even as he consulted allies such and Britain and France, who could join in any US-led strikes on Syria, there were signs of efforts to prevent the crisis from spiraling out of control.

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“Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all!” Trump wrote on Twitter, raising the prospect that an attack might not be as imminent as he seemed to suggest the day before.

Trump met his national security team on the situation in Syria later in the day and “no final decision has been made,” the White House said in a statement.

“We are continuing to assess intelligence and are engaged in conversations with our partners and allies,” it said.

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