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Mattis: U.S. "looking for the actual evidence" of Syria Chemical Attack

The Trump administration says no final decision has been made about taking action against Syria. The U.S. and its allies are still contemplating how best to respond after an alleged chemical attack killed at least 42 people in the Syrian town of Douma.

French fighter jets set off on a training drill as the U.S. and European allies considered whether to strike back at the Syrian regime for a suspected chlorine gas attack that killed dozens of civilians, including children.

France's president says they have proof Bashar al-Assad's government used chemical weapons,  and after an emergency cabinet meeting, British leaders say it's "highly likely" the regime is responsible for last weekend's attack. Talks are also on-going at NATO.

"We think it is important that tant that those responsible are held accountable," says NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

A team of chemical weapons investigators is expected in Syria tomorrow.  U.S officials say blood samples from medical workers confirm chemical weapons were used -- but officials don't know who used them.  The Syrian regime or, as the Russians claim, rebels hoping to overthrow the Syrian government. 

"We will not know from this investigating team that goes in, we will not know who did it. They can only say that they found evidence or did not," says U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

Despite President Trump's warnings of missile strikes, life goes on in the capital of Damascus. Seven years of war have some Syrians numb to threats.

"We still have a good life, and we're not worried about this, not a lot," says Damascus resident Khaled al-Anaz.

The worry for the U.S. and its allies is how to stop the killing of innocent people without sparking a global confrontation. 

If the chemical weapons investigators make it into Syria tomorrow, it's unclear how their presence there would affect the timing of any allied military action.


(Teri Okita, CBS News)


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