The Syrian regime has been repeatedly accused of using chemical weapons, with the United Nations among those blaming government forces for a deadly sarin gas attack on the opposition-held village of Khan Sheikhun in April 2017.
Trump on Monday promised a decision on Syria within hours, declaring that Russian Federation or any other nation found to share responsibility for Saturday's apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians will "pay a price".
Following the attack, doctors in Eastern Ghouta saw patients shaking uncontrollably and some who appeared to be paralyzed and unresponsive, an official from the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM) told CNN. Syria and Russia, Assad's ally in the fight, have denied carrying out a chemical attack, but the incident has drawn wide condemnation across the global community.
US President Donald Trump described the attack as "sick" and criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran for supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Mr Trump last night tweeted: 'Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria.
"The children of Syria have witnessed and experienced unimaginable suffering over the past seven years".
The death toll is likely to rise, according to the Union of Medical Care Organizations, a coalition of global aid agencies that funds hospitals in Syria and which is partly based in Paris.
Hours after the attack, the Army of Islam rebel group agreed to surrender the town and evacuate their fighters to rebel-held northern Syria, Syrian state media reported.
SAMS and the civil defense said medical centers had taken in more than 500 people suffering breathing difficulties, frothing from the mouth and smelling of chlorine.
Later Sunday, dozens of buses entered Douma to take detainees released by Jaish al-Islam to government-held territory, according to Syrian state TV.
September 14, 2013: Then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Lavrov reach a deal that calls for the removal or destruction of Syria's chemical weapons by mid-2014.
British Prime Minister Teresa May called the attack "barbaric", saying during a visit to Denmark that "If they are found to be responsible, the regime and its backers, including Russian Federation, must be held to account". They come at seminal junctures in the conflict, when Syrian government forces are on the verge of a significant strategic victory or advance against the alphabet soup of Salafi-jihadi groups that are operating in the country. Though Trump had last week expressed eagerness to get out of Syria, a White House official said Sunday a military response remains on the table.
Saudi Arabia voiced "deep concern" and condemned the chemical attack.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the death toll was even higher totaling as many as 80 people, including 40 from suffocation.
A chemical attack in a Syrian rebel-held town has sparked widespread global outrage and revulsion.
In response, President Trump ordered a missile attack on a Syrian air base. He said that this recent chemical attack proves the "need" for a USA attack and Washington's interference against the rising troops in Syria.
A 2013 chemical attack in eastern Ghouta that killed hundreds of people was widely blamed on government forces.
It must surely have occurred to Matthew d'Ancona that if Britain and the United States had not attacked Iraq then Syria might well not be where it is today?
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