Published: Thu, April 12, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

As Russia warns against US strike, Trump threatens missiles

As Russia warns against US strike, Trump threatens missiles

United States President Donald Trump has tweeted that Russian Federation should be ready for a missile strike in Syria.

US President Donald Trump holds Russian Federation and Syria responsible for a suspected chemical attack that killed more than 40 people, the White House said Wednesday, refusing to rule out direct military engagement with Russian Federation.

Mrs May has said Britain will co-ordinate its response to the incident in the rebel-held town of Douma - where at least 40 people are reported to have been killed - with the United States and France. "We'll be working with our closest allies to consider how we can ensure that those responsible are held to account".

British and French forces are expected to take part in the response to Assad's use of chemical weapons, the former Pentagon official said.

Responding to Trump's tweet, a Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said: "Smart missiles should fly towards terrorists, not a legal government", adding United States "smart missiles" could be an attempt to destroy evidence of an alleged chemical attack on the ground.

Syria's army has evacuated key defence buildings in Damascus following intelligence they might be targeted in a Western strike in response to an alleged chemical attack, a monitor said Wednesday.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Tuesday it would send "shortly" a fact-finding mission to Douma.

Russian Federation later hit back, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying "we do not participate in Twitter diplomacy" in comments reported by the Interfax news agency.

However Mrs May faces growing impatience from Washington, where President Donald Trump tweeted the missiles "will be coming".

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in televised remarks that "we don't participate in Twitter diplomacy".

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'We can not risk an escalation even further than it's gone already'.

"The pretext of a chemical attack has become well known to everybody and is a flimsy and unsubstantiated excuse to target Syria", the ministry statement said.

In response, Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a Facebook post that "smart missiles should fly towards terrorists, not towards the lawful government".

The president appeared to be reacting to reports Tuesday that the Russian ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander Zasypkin, warned the United States and its allies that any missiles fired at Syria would be shot down.

Russian Federation has warned the United States that a strike on Syria could trigger a potential major showdown between the two former Cold War adversaries - a prospect not considered in decades.

He is reportedly weighing a stronger strike than that of previous year, when he ordered a strike of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on military infrastructure following reports of a chemical attack.

On Saturday, the Assad regime used chemical weapons on the last remaining rebel enclave of Douma, outside Damascus, killing over 40 civilians.

One official said the U.S., France and Britain were considering military options that would be more extensive than the punitive, one-day strike last April.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said any USA missile salvo could be an attempt to destroy evidence of the reported gas attack in the Syrian town of Douma, for which Damascus and Moscow have denied any responsibility.

There is also no evidence to suggest Assad's government was being framed for the latest suspected attack, said the official, a reference to past accusations by the Syrian government that the rebels might themselves release gas so that Assad would be blamed and they would garner sympathy.

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