Western powers, led by the US, are considering military action against the Assad regime as evidence of a chemical weapons attack mounts.
Syria's president believes his country is caught up in a much larger conflict than its own civil war. He warned that "things are going to be out of control" if superpowers engage in direct conflict.
Russian President Putin said the Syrian military's successes have created conditions for "the start of a political process on a major scale." Syria's Assad said progress would be made in the Astana peace talks.
France has proof that Syria used chemical weapons, "at least chlorine," said President Emmanuel Macron. Britain has stressed the need for an international response to the attack.
Speaking at the UN, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas accused Syrian President Bashar Assad of "inhumane behavior" in alleged chemical attacks in Douma. He also pushed Berlin's bid for a seat on the Security Council.
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