Trump threatened on Wednesday to launch a missile attack on Syria in response to the alleged chemical attack by Syrian troops in the rebel-held Douma district on the outskirts of Syrian capital Damascus.
US President Donald Trump hastily called the supposed attack in Douma a "humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever", warning that a "big price" would be paid. The incident, said to have taken place on Saturday, reportedly affected dozens of people.
Initially, an attack in Syria seemed all but certain, with the president tweeting a warning to Russian Federation to "get ready' and talking about missiles that are "nice and new and smart" - words that put the U.S. military on alert".
The drumbeat of military action appeared to grow louder, as Russian Federation stonewalled diplomatic efforts at the United Nations and France declared "proof" that Moscow's Syrian ally carried out a deadly chemical weapons attack that killed more than 40 Syrians.
Mr. Mattis' remarks at a House Armed Services Committee hearing followed a series of Trump tweets this week that initially indicated he was committed to bombing Syria but later suggested he was awaiting further advice and assessment.
Asked about the chances of a doomsday scenario in which Russian and American blood will be spilled as result of the US-led military action, Zakharova said that Moscow and Washington have all the means to prevent such a showdown and its potentially disastrous consequences.
Mr. Mattis said options would be discussed with Mr.Trump at a meeting of his National Security Council on Thursday afternoon.
"Germany will not take part in possible - there have not been any decisions yet, I want to stress that - military action", Merkel said following a meeting with Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen in Berlin.
Western officials are also insisting on the moral argument for action, saying Syrian President Bashar Assad must be stopped from using particularly cruel and outlawed weapons.
Tokyo issued a similar response in April previous year when the United States conducted a missile strike on a Syrian air base that was the alleged source of a chemical attack that killed dozens of civilians. Syria and Russian Federation denied the attack.
However, French President Emmanuel Macron claimed that Paris had "the proof" that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons, including chlorine, "last week".
The statement goes on to state, "At the same time, OPCW's director-general, Ambassador Ahmet Uzumcu, has considered the deployment of a Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) team to Douma to establish facts surrounding these allegations".