The US and its allies are looking into their options on Friday and seriously mulling over the possible air strikes against Syria’s regime as pressure building to avoid an escalation following a warning from Russia that military action could lead to ‘war’.
The UN Security Council was to meet again Friday, at Russia’s request, to try to defuse the standoff, as US President Donald Trump appeared to back away from imminent action, days after warning Russia to “get ready” for missile strikes.
After a crunch meeting with national security advisers Thursday, the White House said he had not yet decided how to retaliate to last week’s suspected chemical attack which the US, France and Britain blame on Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
“No final decision has been made,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, adding that Trump would confer with French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May.
But Mr Corbyn said: “More bombing, more killing, more war will not save life. It will just take more lives and spawn the war elsewhere.”
He added: “The government appears to be waiting for instructions from President Donald Trump on how to proceed.
President Trump spoke to the prime minister on Thursday evening, and the pair agreed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had “established a pattern of dangerous behaviour in relation to the use of chemical weapons”.
Later, a White House briefing on a call between Trump and May said that they “continued their discussion of the need for a joint response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons.”
A Downing Street spokesperson added: “They agreed it was vital that the use of chemical weapons did not go unchallenged, and on the need to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime.”
But US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis struck a cautious note, telling lawmakers that the need to “stop the murder of innocent people” had to be weighed up against the risk of things “escalating out of control”.
Since Saturday, when images of ashen toddlers struggling for breath emerged, there has been a sustained military buildup in the eastern Mediterranean.
A French frigate, UK Royal Navy submarines laden with cruise missiles and the USS Donald Cook, an American destroyer equipped with Tomahawk land attack missiles, have all moved into range of Syria’s sun-bleached coast.
Russia’s UN ambassador warned that US-led strikes could lead to a confrontation between the world’s two preeminent nuclear powers.
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