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The Russian military said the USA strike force was due to arrive in the Middle East at the start of May.

"You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!" Israel has said it won't let Iran entrench militarily in Syria, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the occasion of Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day to warn Tehran not to test his country. TASS news agency quoted him as saying he believed common sense would prevail.

The US President tweeted: "Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria".

Russian media reported on Wednesday that the United States would provide Russia with a list of its targets for the Syria strike.

Mr Trump has previously warned of a quick, forceful response once responsibility for the Syria attack is established, but the Syrian Government and its ally Russian Federation have denied that such an attack ever happened.

The United Nations is facing calls for a response following an alleged chemical attack in the rebel-held town of Douma on Saturday that killed at least 40 people, according to medics and rescuers.

Syria's army has evacuated key defense buildings in Damascus over fears they might be targeted by Western strikes in response to an alleged chemical attack, a monitor said Wednesday.

(AAP) The Syrian government and Russian Federation deny the attack ever happened.

Earlier, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier said in televised remarks that "we don't participate in Twitter diplomacy", adding that "it's important not to make any steps that could further destabilize the already fragile situation".

After the attack, the rebel group holed up in Douma - Jaish al-Islam - finally agreed to withdraw from the town.

"The pretext of a chemical attack has become well known to everybody and is a flimsy and unsubstantiated excuse to target Syria", the ministry statement said.

Prior to the tweet, Russian Federation said its air defenses would shoot down any incoming missiles and that its forces would retaliate against the source of any attacks. More than 350,000 people have been killed in Syria's conflict since it started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.

Syria's Russian-supplied air defences shot down an Israeli F-16 jet in February during a previous bombing run against what Israel described as Iranian-backed positions in Syria.

The U.S., Britain and France have argued the incident bears all the hallmarks of a strike ordered by the regime, which has been blamed for previous attacks by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

US President Donald Trump swiftly responded on social media. That clinched a huge victory for Assad, crushing a long rebellion in the eastern Ghouta region near the capital Damascus.

The Syrian government has said USA threats to attack it are "reckless" and endanger worldwide peace and security.


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