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Trump and Netanyahu at the White House. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in security consultations on Monday that he thinks there is high probability President Trump will order a military strike in Syria in retaliation for the recent chemical weapons attack on the Damascus suburb of Douma, a senior Israeli official told me.

The latest: The official said Israel published a formal statement blaming the Assad regime for the attack on Monday night as a consequence of this assessment by Netanyahu. The official said the purpose was to give diplomatic support for possible U.S. military action against Syria and also for possible U.S. diplomatic action against Syria at the UN Security Council.

The statement by the Israeli foreign ministry said:

"Israel strongly condemns the chemical weapons strike carried out by Syria on April 7…The Syrian regime continues to perpetrate crimes against humanity in using these outlawed weapons. The latest attack joins a long series of similar attacks using chemical weapons perpetrated by the regime since Assad undertook to disarm from such weapons. The attack shows clearly that Syria continues to possess lethal chemical weapons capabilities and even to manufacture new ones. In so doing Syria is grossly violating its obligations and the decisions of the international community in this matter".

The Prime Minister's office declined to comment.

Go deeper

Storms pummel flood-hit Pacific Northwest as border river overflows

An image of the water-logged Sumas Prairie area taken last Friday. Photo: B.C. Ministry of Transportation/Twitter.

The latest ferocious storm system to hit the Pacific Northwest triggered fresh evacuation orders and at least one mudslide in flood-ravaged British Columbia, Canada, late Sunday.

Threat level: Flood sirens sounded in Washington state as the Nooksack River overflowed. Henry Braun, mayor of Abbotsford, B.C., told reporters the water flow was headed toward the Canadian border city later Sunday. "There's nothing to stop it," he said.

Updated 5 hours ago - Health

First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada

COVID-19 testing personnel at Toronto Pearson International Airport in September. Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The first two cases of the new Omicron variant have been detected in North America, the Canadian government announced Sunday evening.

Driving the news: The World Health Organization has named Omicron a "variant of concern," but cautioned earlier on Sunday that it is not yet clear whether it's more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.

Former Defense Secretary Esper sues Pentagon over book

Former President Trump and former Defense Secretary Mark Esper at the White House in 2020. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper filed a lawsuit Sunday against the Defense Department, accusing the Pentagon of "censoring" his First Amendment rights by redacting aspects of his upcoming book on the Trump administration.

The big picture: Esper, who served as defense secretary from July 2019 until he was fired by then-President Trump in November last year, alleges in the suit that "significant text" is "being improperly withheld from publication" of the manuscript "under the guise of classification."