All eyes on Syria as USA weighs military strike: Here's the latest

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Trump's tweets were more belligerent - he told Russia "You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!" - and declared that United States relations with Russia have plunged to a historic low. You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!'.

Meanwhile, the bottom right of the graph illustrates the deterrent effect of the Trump administration's cruise missile barrage last spring.

General Sir Richard Barrons, a former commander of Joint Forces Command, said Russia's warnings that launch platforms could be targeted in response to air strikes meant "they are going to try and sink ships, sink submarines and shoot aircraft out of the sky - that's war".

With a mix of fear and defiance, Syrians braced on Wednesday for a possible US attack in retaliation to an alleged chemical assault that killed dozens over the weekend.

He described the situation in Syria as "rather tense" but declined to specify how Moscow would respond to a US airstrike against its ally Assad.

Russian Federation and the Syrian government strongly deny the allegations or that any chemical weapons attack took place.

The Syrian pound lost almost 10 percent of its value on prospects of an American attack, going from about 430 Syrian pounds to the dollar last week to 469 Wednesday.

However Mrs May faces growing impatience from Washington, where President Donald Trump tweeted the missiles "will be coming". Iran also has numerous options to respond to any American punitive attack in Syria, hurting the USA or its allies in the region, including Saudi Arabia.

A Kremlin spokesman has said claims of a chemical weapons attack were fabricated.

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"We are working with our allies".

Prime Minister Theresa May has said all indications point to the Syrian regime being behind the suspected chemical attack, and that Britain will work with its "closest allies" to hold those behind the attack to account.

Mr Trump in another tweet said US-Russia relations are "worse now" than ever, "and that includes the Cold War". The tweet was followed by another one, urging Moscow to stop what he described as an "arms race".

French President Emmanuel Macron, who has been coordinating closely with Washington, said he would decide on a response "in the coming days".

It's time, once again, to hit the Syrian regime.

The Syrian army could not be immediately reached for comment.

At the other end of the spectrum is a nightmare scenario that brings the US and Russian Federation into direct confrontation and pulls in Iran and Israel - with Iran using the Shiite militia Hezbollah as a proxy to attack Israel with long-range rockets, with calamitous consequences for neighboring Lebanon, where Hezbollah is based.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, a global watchdog, said Tuesday that its inspectors were preparing to deploy to Syria and that Assad's government has been approached for permission to enter Douma. The three countries are discussing a range of options, including preventing Assad from conducting future attacks by striking military capabilities involved in carrying out such attack, the official said. Under a 2013 agreement for which Russian Federation was a guarantor, Syria was to have eliminated all its chemical weapons, but it has used chlorine and perhaps other chemicals since then.

It comes after a suspected chemical attack in Douma, Syria, believed to have been carried out by the Syrian government. US military action targeting his forces, especially the air force, arguably could have changed the trajectory of the Syrian civil war.