On Wednesday, President Donald Trump warned Russia to ‘get ready’ for a missile attack on Syria.
“Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready, Russia” the president wrote on Twitter. “Because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart’! You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his own people and enjoys it!”
Trump made his remarks after Russia’s ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin said any U.S. missiles fired at Syria would be shot down and their launch sites targeted.
“If there is a strike by the Americans then the missiles will be downed,” Zasypkin threatened on Lebanese television. Zasypkin said he was referring to a statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The ambassador added, “a clash should be ruled out and therefore we are ready to hold negotiations.”
The United States and its allies are considering whether to hit Syria following the weekend’s suspected poison gas attack on civilians at the hands of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Relief organizations say dozens of people including women and children died in the attack on the rebel-held town of Douma on Saturday.
Trump did not detail what a strike on Syria would look like, or whether U.S. missiles would be used.
The U.S., Britain and France have been in extensive consultations about launching a military strike as early as the end of this week. U.S. officials say a joint military operation, possibly with France taking the lead, could send a message of international unity about enforcing prohibitions on chemical weapons and counter the political and military support Russia and Iran provide to Syria.
French President Emmanual Macron called for a ‘strong and joint response’ to the attack on Douma. Macron announced on Thursday that his government has ‘proof that last week chemical weapons, at least chlorine, were used by the regime of Bashar al-Assad.’
France is already involved in the U.S.-led coalition formed in 2014 to fight the Islamic State Group in Syria and Iraq. Macron added, “Regimes that think they can do everything they want, including the worst things that violate international law cannot be allowed to act.” France has been the target of multiple IS attacks, including one just last month.
Wednesday, the Daily Telegraph in London reported that UK Prime Minister Theresa May ordered British submarines to move within missile range of Syria in preparation for strikes against the Assad regime. May released a statement saying it was ‘highly likely’ that the Assad regime was behind the chemical weapons attack. Sources told the Daily Telegraph that Britain was doing everything necessary to be able to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles from nuclear-powered submarines against military targets is Syria, although ‘the political decision has not yet been made.’
At the Pentagon, a reporter asked Defense Secretary Jim Mattis whether he had seen enough evidence to blame the Syrian government.
“We’re still assessing the intelligence, ourselves and our allies” he responded. “We’re still working on this.” When asked whether the U.S. military was ready to conduct an attack in Syria if ordered, Mattis said, “We stand ready to provide military options if they’re appropriate, as the President determined.”
The Syrian government and Russia vehemently deny involvement in the attack, but on Tuesday, Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution to investigate the chemical weapons attacks in Syria. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley criticized the decision. “History will record that on this day” she warned. “Russia chose protecting a monster over the lives of the Syrian people.”
The World Health Organization reports more than 70 people who took shelter in basements died, 43 of those deaths were related to exposure to toxic chemicals. According to WHO health partners, as many as 500 patients seen at healthcare facilities exhibited symptoms like respiratory failure consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals.
Some forty minutes after his ‘get ready’ message, Trump tweeted “our relationship with Russia is worse now than it has ever been, even during the Cold War. There is no reason for this. Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do, and we need all nations to work together. Stop the arms race?”
~ Conservative Zone