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UK's May summons Cabinet to discuss Syria military strike

Russia systematically denies chemical attacks in Syria

The biggest Russian equity-focused exchange-traded fund, which is dominated by Russian oil and gas majors, had an inflow of $58.6 million on Wednesday, the most since January 5, as Brent spiked amid escalating geopolitical risks in the Middle East.

The Foreign Ministry in Damascus has denounced President Donald Trump's threat to attack the country as "reckless" and a danger to global peace and security.

In April previous year Trump ordered Tomahawk strikes on the Shayrat Airbase in response to a similar chemical weapons attack on rebel-held Khan Sheikhun.

The Kommersant newspaper quoted anonymous Defense Ministry sources as saying that Russia's General Staff was in touch with the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff and expected to receive coordinates on airstrike targets from the Pentagon in order to avoid Russian casualties.

Syria's military has repositioned some air assets to avoid fallout from possible missile strikes, USA officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

"I think it looks pretty clear that a chlorine weapon was used" on the civilians, said Charles Duelfer, former deputy head of the United Nations inspections team in Iraq, in an interview with NPR.

World stocks edged down as anxious investors stayed wary of risky assets.

She did not comment on Donald Trump's tweeted warning Russian Federation to "get ready" for missiles being fired at its ally Syria.

In 2013, Parliament defeated a call by then-Prime Minister David Cameron for airstrikes in response to an earlier chemical attack in Syria.

The Russian military said later it had observed movements of USA naval forces in the Gulf. Russian US Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said Washington's decision to put forward its resolution could be a prelude to a Western strike on Syria.

The USS Donald Cook, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, is within easy striking range of Syria, as is a French frigate with its own cruise missiles.

Trump tweet comes a day after he threatened both Russian Federation and Syria over Twitter insisting that USA missiles are coming.

The Syrian government has denied the allegations and said the rebels were fabricating the incident to give a pretext to the United States and its Western allies to strike Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, on April 12 urged against "any steps which could lead to an escalation of tensions".

His comments, made as he received Ali Akbar Velayati, foreign policy advisor to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, were posted on the Syrian presidency's social media accounts. "The president holds Syria and Russian Federation responsible for this chemical weapons attack".

"Whenever the Syrian army achieves victory in the field, some western countries rise their voices and intensify their movements in an attempt to change the track of events", Assad said, according to SANA.

But Trump notably also said there was "no reason for this", reiterated his hope for talks with Putin to halt a new arms race, and blamed his domestic political opponents for poisoning ties. "If we want to do that, we the Western partners can not diverge in our approaches".

Trump's spokeswoman dismissed this idea, and pointedly refused to say that concern about the risks of a direct confrontation with Russian Federation would hold the United States military back.

The BBC said May was ready to give the go-ahead for Britain to take part in action led by the United States without seeking prior approval from parliament.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has joined other opposition parties in insisting MPs must have a say on any British involvement in military action. This is in contrast to an incident one year ago in which the USA government had video and other evidence of certain aspects of an actual attack by Syrian aircraft, which involved the use of sarin gas. That then deterred the USA administration of Barack Obama from similar action.

Another possibility is that missiles could be launched from USA submarines, the locations of which are a tightly guarded secret.