Missiles Will be Coming to Syria: US President Donald Trump Warns Russia

Saul Bowman
April 12, 2018

Mr Trump, backed by Britain and France, has proposed military action against the Syrian regime in response to the suspected chemical attack.

Retired Lt. Gen. Yevgeny Buzhinsky, the former chief of the Russian Defense Ministry's global department, warned that Russia has thousands of military advisers in Syria "practically in every battalion", and a strike on any Syrian facility could jeopardize their lives.

In addition to blaming Syria, Trump has further blamed Assad's backers in Iran and Russian Federation for the eastern Ghouta attack.

A spokesman for the Kremlin dismissed Trump's message as a blunt instrument: "We don't take part in Twitter diplomacy- we are supporters of serious approaches", Dmitry Peskov told members of the press. But Wednesday's messages were unique in their telegraphing of upcoming United States military action, something Trump vowed he would not do as president.

Brig. -Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, told Channel 2 the Americans had no option but to respond with an air strike would be more severe that then one the United States carried out against Syria a year ago.

With renewed United States military action seemingly imminent - and as Trump threatened that the USA missiles would be "nice and new and 'smart!'" - both Washington and Moscow raised the rhetorical stakes. "Get ready Russian Federation, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'" said Trump in a tweet on Wednesday morning.

The statement was the latest in a war of words raging between Washington and Moscow since Saturday's suspected chemical attack on the rebel-held town Douma, just outside Damascus, which killed more than 40 people according to activists and first responders. I appeal to the Security Council to fulfil its responsibility and find unity on this issue, he said.

President Emmanuel Macron said France, the US and Britain will decide how to respond in the coming days.

Trump has largely avoided criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin by name, though he singled him out in a tweet over the weekend for supporting Assad. President Trump had cancelled a foreign trip to manage the Syrian crisis. The size of US's budget for those two countries remained more than twice as big as the one for Syria in fiscal 2018.

Officials suggested such evidence was lacking, or at least not yet at hand. She has not said whether she will seek approval from MPs before approving any action, and Trump has pressed his counterparts that urgent steps are necessary, according to people familiar with the conversations.

"We can not allow atrocities like that", Trump said during a Cabinet meeting Monday.

Using chemical weapons is illegal.

On Wednesday, he again warned Russian Federation of being an ally of the Assad regime.

"We stand ready to provide military options if they are appropriate as the President determined", Mattis said.

Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova posted that "missiles must fly towards terrorists, not a legitimate government that has been fighting worldwide terrorism in its territory for several years". Neighboring Turkey, the USA, the U.K., France, Germany and have blamed Assad regime for the attack, which is denied by Russian Federation and the regime.

Vladislav Volodin, the speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament, said the "whole world is horrified by" Trump's tweeting.

Trump also conflated USA tensions with Russia over special counsel Robert Mueller's probe, saying "much of the bad blood with Russia is caused by the Fake & Corrupt Russia Investigation". Most recently his anger has reached new heights after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the office and hotel room of his private attorney Michael Cohen. Trump had on Monday warned of a quick, forceful response once responsibility for the Syria attack was established.

General Sir Richard Barrons, a former commander of Joint Forces Command, said Russia's warnings that launch platforms could be targeted in response to air strikes meant "they are going to try and sink ships, sink submarines and shoot aircraft out of the sky - that's war". Trump tweeted in response. It was not immediately clear whether that visit might affect any US or allied military action.

UPDATE: What was that, Donald Trump? "Let them go through with it or shut up", said a participant in an online poll asking if Syrians were afraid of a USA attack.

In 2013, the Obama administration seemed to pull off a diplomatic slam dunk with Syria.

It's the second time in recent weeks that Trump has appeared to signal his intentions in Syria ahead of time.

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