Mattis and Dunford acknowledged the strike was created to degrade Syria's chemical weapons capability without killing civilians or the many foreign fighters in Syria's multi-sided civil war, particularly those from Russian Federation.
Independent inspectors are attempting to assess the attack this weekend. "We are very confident that chlorine was used and we are not ruling out sarin right now", Mattis said. "Yes, the US has analyzed, yes it has happened, the United Kingdom has analyzed, yes it has happened, France has analyzed, yes it has happened, three separate analysis all coming back with the same thing, there is proof this happened", Haley said. This has raised fears of a possible direct clash of USA and Russian forces.
"When the people of Douma, along with the rest of the global community, looked to this council to act, one country stood in the way", Haley said. Here's some of the background. Assad's recent attack - and today's response - are the direct result of Russia's failure to keep that promise.
The government has consistently denied the attack and a delegation of experts from the OPCW chemical watchdog arrived in Damascus to investigate.
Just over a year ago, on April 6, he ordered missile strikes on an airbase that was where the chemical weapons attack was launched. There were no reports of any allied losses during the strikes.
Mr Trump, who has cancelled a planned trip overseas, has been canvassing support for strikes from the leaders of France and the UK.
The Pentagon has some 2,000 troops in Syria, but they are focused on fighting the Islamic State in areas in eastern Syria that Assad's government does not control. "This is a renewed effort to bring chemical weapons back into the mainstream and we can't allow it to happen", she said.
"President Obama declared a red line".
Obama gave a speech saying the US should act against Syria. Assad warned that any military action by Western nations would increase instability within Syria.
Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has accused the Government of "waiting for instructions" from the USA and that military intervention risks "escalating an already devastating conflict". More than 1,300 tons of chemical agents were removed.
Trump called last weeks chemical attack "evil and the despicable" and added, "These are not the actions of a man; they are crimes of a monster instead". It also said Russian officers found no patients with chemical attack symptoms at a local hospital, and no indication of any burials having taken place of the victims. "The world has been watching the Syrian people getting slaughtered every day for the last seven and a half years now", Bilal Dalati said.
About half the country, some 12 million people, have been displaced - 6.1 million inside Syria. Only a tiny percentage of those have been killed in chemical strikes.
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