"There has been no decision to take military action at this point".
Echoing the USA stance, France said Assad's government had reached a "point of no return" with repeated use of chemical weapons. That meant airstrikes, possibly in tandem with France and other allies that have expressed outrage at the alleged Syrian chemical attack, could be launched within hours of a presidential decision. And he insisted it remains USA policy not to be involved directly in Syria's civil war.
Mattis said that although the United States has no hard proof, he believes the Syrian government is responsible for Saturday's attack.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the United Nations today that no decision had been taken about military action against Syria, but use of force would be in response to multiple chemical attacks carried out by President Bashar al-Assad's forces.
British Prime Minister Theresa May's senior ministers agreed on the need for action at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, but Downing Street did not specify what measures the United Kingdom would take, reports CNN.More news: Senate Holds Confirmation Hearing For Mike Pompeo To Be Secretary Of State
The prospect of a confrontation between Russian Federation, the Syrian government's ally, and the West has loomed since Trump said on Wednesday that missiles "will be coming" in response to the attack in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7.
President Donald Trump has emerged from a meeting with his national security team without a "final decision" on how to respond to a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria.
May recalled the ministers from their Easter holiday for the meeting in Downing Street to discuss Britain's response to what she has cast as a barbaric attack that can not go unchallenged.
But rival politicians and some Conservative colleagues have called for a parliamentary vote before any British involvement.
Following the meeting, May spoke to Donald Trump and the pair agreed that the United Kingdom and the U.S. would "keep working closely together on the worldwide response", according to a statement from Downing Street. May isn't legally required to do that, though it has become conventional since the 2003 invasion of Iraq for lawmakers to be given the chance to vote before British forces are deployed.More news: Driver in California Plunge That Killed Family Was Drunk, Officials Say
Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said parliament should be consulted before May approved military action.
British lawmakers voted down taking military against Damascus in 2013, in what was widely viewed as an assertion of parliamentary sovereignty on the use of force.
Britain has been launching air strikes in Syria from its military base in Cyprus, but only against targets linked to the Islamic State militant group.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said after speaking with Macron on Thursday that Germany won't participate in possible military action in Syria, but supports sending a message that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable.
"What we've got here in Syria is a choice between monsters on the one hand and maniacs on the other", Julian Lewis, the chairman of the House of Commons defence committee, told the BBC.More news: Rockies' Nolan Arenado, Gerardo Parra suspended for roles in brawl with Padres