Leading government ministers on Wednesday (August 28) met in Downing Street for a national security meeting to discuss possible intervention in Syria, after Britain sought authorisation for Western military action in the country from the United Nations.

They were joined by Britain's top defence chief, General Nicholas Houghton.

The U.N. Security Council should wait for inspectors to present their report on an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria before considering a response; Interfax news agency quoted a senior Russian diplomat as saying on Wednesday.

The remark by Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov signalled Russian opposition to a proposal by Britain to put a draft resolution to the Council on Wednesday authorising "necessary measures" to protect Syrian civilians.

The alleged use of chemical weapons against its own people by the Syrian government is what has prompted Western governments to begin talks of possible military moves against the country.

U.N. chemical weapons experts investigating an apparent gas attack that killed hundreds of civilians in rebel-held suburbs of Damascus made a second trip across the front line to take samples.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pleaded for them to be given the time they need to complete their mission.

Presented by Adam Justice