France’s President Emmanuel Macron says he has “proof” that the Syrian government attacked the town of Douma with chemical weapons last weekend.
He did not give the source of his information but said: “We have proof that last week chemical weapons, at least chlorine, were used by the regime of Bashar al-Assad.”
He said he would decide “in due course” whether to respond with air strikes.
Urine and blood samples from victims of the attack have tested positive for chlorine and a nerve agent, media reports quote US officials as saying.
Western states are thought to be preparing for missile strikes. Russia strongly opposes such action.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov urged against “any steps which could lead to an escalation of tensions”.
US President Donald Trump, who said on Wednesday that missiles were “coming”, has now tweeted that he “never said when”.
It “could be very soon or not so soon at all”, tweeted the president, who has cancelled a planned trip to allow him to stay in the US with his defence secretary, and has been canvassing support for strikes from the leaders of France and the UK.
Activists and medics say dozens of people died when government aircraft dropped bombs filled with toxic chemicals on Douma on Saturday.
President Assad’s government denies being behind any chemical attack. (Excerpt from BBC)