With the Middle East braced once again for the possibility of American-led military action in Syria, all eyes are on the Trump administration’s next move.
US President Donald Trump’s decision will have implications well beyond what happens over the next few days.
Debate is intensifying over a possible strike against Syria following the alleged chemical weapons attack on the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta town of Douma on the weekend.
From the outset, Russia dismissed the incident as a fabrication, and now it says it has proof.
“Our military, radiological, biological, chemical unit was on site with the alleged chemical accident and it confirmed that there was no chemical substances found on the ground,” Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, said.
But France says it is prepared to strike Syria’s chemical facilities and its decision will not depend on the discussions underway at the UN.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the United States holds Syria as well as its allies, Russia and Iran, responsible.
“Russia has betrayed its obligations to guarantee the end of the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons program,” Ms Huckabee Sanders said.
“The President and his national security team are consulting closely with allies and partners to determine the appropriate response.