USA not ruling out military action in Syria

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis awaits the arrival of Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani during an honor cordon at the Pentagon in Washington DC

"Nothing's off the table", he said, shortly after noting that major decisions would be made in the next day or two.

The Israeli strike came just hours after US President Donald Trump warned the Syrian government that there would be consequences for the alleged attack.

President Donald Trump said Monday he will decide "probably by the end of today" on a USA response to the apparent chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians.

"I don't rule out anything right now", Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon prior to meeting with the emir of Qatar.

At the Pentagon in a meeting with his Qatari counterpart, Mattis said: 'The first thing we have to look at is why are chemical weapons still being used at all when Russian Federation was the framework guarantor of removing all the chemical weapons.

Meanwhile, U.S. government sources said that initial assessment suggested that nerve agent was used in the attack that has killed over 70 civilians in eastern Ghouta's Douma.

In April past year, the USA president ordered air raids on Syrian government facilities in the wake of a chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun, a rebel-held town, which killed at least 80 people.

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Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said he would not rule out "anything".

At a photo-taking session in the Pentagon on Monday, Mattis said "the first thing" to consider in how to respond was why chemical weapons are "still being used at all".

The attacks come during an uneasy time in Syria, and also as President Trump carefully navigates exactly what to do in the country, where there are approximately 2,000 US troops now stationed.

Trump is set to meet with his National Security Council on Monday to form a retaliation plan.

"The first thing we have to look at is why are chemical weapons still being used at all when Russian Federation was the framework guarantor of removing all the chemical weapons". They include sea-launched cruise missile aboard ships within range of Syria.

Syrian activist and emergency groups said between 40 and 75 people died this weekend after at least one Assad-allied helicopter dropped a barrel bomb of chemicals that left civilians, including children, suffocating.

Trump's homeland security adviser, Thomas Bossert, noted on ABC's "This Week" the timing of the suspected chemical attack - nearly a year to the day of the US missile strikes. White House advisers said at the time that images of hurt children helped spur the president to launch that air strike, and television new shows on Sunday aired similar depictions of suffering young Syrians.

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