Missiles 'will be coming' to Syria, Trump warns Russia

From Reuters - April 11, 2018

WASHINGTON/BEIRUT (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump warned Russia on Wednesday of imminent military action in Syria over a suspected poison gas attack, declaring that missiles will be coming and lambasting Moscow for standing by Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Trump was responding to a Russian warning on Tuesday that any U.S. missiles fired at Syria over the assault on a rebel enclave would be shot down and the launch sites targeted.

Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and smart!, Trump wrote in a post on Twitter.

You shouldnt be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it! Trump said, referring Moscows alliance with Assad.

In response, Russias Foreign Ministry said smart missiles should fly towards terrorists, not legal government. Damascus and Moscow refer to rebels fighting Assad as terrorists.

The Syrian government and Russia say the reports of a poison gas assault on the Syrian town of Douma are bogus.

After the attack, the rebel group holed up in Douma - Jaish al-Islam - finally agreed to withdraw from the town. That sealed a big victory for Assad, who has now crushed the rebellion in the eastern Ghouta region near Damascus.

Moscows threat to shoot down U.S. missiles came from the Russian ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander Zasypkin, who said he was referring to a statement by President Vladimir Putin and the Russian armed forces chief of staff.

Zasypkin also said that any hostilities with Washington should be avoided and Moscow was ready for negotiations.

But his remarks could raise fears of direct conflict for the first time between major powers backing opposing sides in Syrias protracted civil war.

The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that 43 people had died in Saturdays attack on the town of Douma from symptoms consistent with exposure to highly toxic chemicals, and more than 500 in all had been treated.

The Kremlin said on Wednesday it hoped all sides involved in Syria would avoid doing anything that could destabilize an already fragile situation in the Middle East, and made clear it strongly opposed any U.S. strike on its ally.


Moscow and Washington stymied attempts by each other at the United Nations SecurityCouncil on Tuesday to set up international investigations into chemical weapons attacks in Syria.



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