Trump warns Russian Federation to 'get ready' for United States strike on Syria
- Author: Joanne Flowers Apr 12, 2018,
Apr 12, 2018, 9:15
President Donald Trump's national security team has met to discuss the USA response to the Syrian government's apparent use of chemical weapons on its own people.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis as well as Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo huddled at the White House on Wednesday to discuss options and game out the situation.
The apparent decision by the White House to conduct a missile strike comes after Russian Federation claimed the Syrian government shot down several Israeli cruise missiles over the weekend.
"We are not surprised by such a reckless escalation from a regime like the United States which has fostered and continues to foster terrorism in Syria", a foreign ministry official said, according to state news agency SANA.
Efforts at the UN Security Council to find a diplomatic solution failed on Tuesday, with Washington and Moscow opposing each other's rival motions to set up an global investigation into chemical weapons use.
In a later tweet the US President appealed to his Russian counterpart Mr Putin to "stop the arms race".
Trump did not detail what a strike would look like, or whether these would be US missiles.
Former Secretary of Defence Ash Carter, speaking in Senate testimony in late 2015, said at the time that the vast majority of Russia's strikes in Syria, some 85 to 90 per cent, "use dumb bombs, which obviously increases the possibility of civilian casualties".
Trump's latest threat is a response to comments made by Alexander Zasypkin, Russia's ambassador to Lebanon, who on Tuesday evening said Russia would respond to any United States strike on Syri by targeting any missiles and launchers.
Some say the US could launch a limited strike like it did in April 2017, when it hit Syria's Shayrat airfield with cruise missiles after warning Russian Federation.
He also mocked Vladimir Putin for his alliance with the "gas killing animal" Assad, who was alleged to "enjoy" slaughtering his own people.
The United States gave a swift response, and I expect that will happen again. Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian military's General Staff, said Russian military officers are at Syrian facilities throughout the country and warned that "if a threat to our servicemen emerges, the Russian armed forces will take retaliatory measures against both missiles and their carriers".
The statement by the Foreign Ministry in Damascus comes as a war of words is raging between Washington and Moscow over last weekend's suspected chemical attack on a rebel-held town near the Syrian capital. At a photo-taking session during a meeting with his Dutch counterpart, Mattis was asked by a reporter whether he had seen enough evidence to blame the Syrian government.
Mr Philp also said that, even if there was a vote, a number of Labour backbenchers had already expressed their willingness to side with the government and back military action.
In another tweet, Trump said relations with Russian Federation were worse than in the cold war.