"We are continuing to asses intelligence and are engaged in conversations with our partners and allies", Sanders said. When the international body that is ostensibly responsible abrogates its duty, it is morally incumbent on other powers to step up. The Assad regime murdered hundreds of thousands of people so far and forcefully displaced millions of people.
Later Thursday he was noncommittal.
In another clear signal at military planning, CNBC reported that the US "was considering striking eight potential targets".
Trump and May agreed "on the need to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime", May's office said without providing details on what steps might be taken.
May has indicated she wants Britain to join in any U.S. -led strikes in response to the suspected attack near Damascus.
Russia's military is present in Syria, where it is supporting the Assad government. The Assad regime has fought for years to take the area back, and an intensified push began a few months ago. The Observatory's chief, Rami Abdurrahman, said the alert includes all army positions and bases from the southern province of Sweida all the way to Aleppo province in the north, the Mediterranean coast in the west to Deir el-Zour province in the east, along the Iraqi border.
Mr Putin and Mr Macron instructed their foreign and defence ministers to maintain close contact to "de-escalate the situation", the Kremlin said.
"The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war", he told reporters.
The attack has drawn international outrage and prompted the United States and its allies to consider a military strike on Syria, something Moscow has strongly warned against.
The warning from Moscow came as United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that increasing tensions over Syria could lead to "full-blown military escalation". The politician, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about secret military movements, said the atmosphere and U.S. statements hint at a possible strike, "but there are no indications on the ground so far".
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