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"Get ready, Russia." Trump warns of military action in Syria

17 Avril 2018

"I ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapon capabilities of Syrian dictator of Bashar al-Assad", Trump said from the White House Diplomatic Reception Room.

Trump and other Western leaders have vowed a quick and forceful response to Saturday's alleged gas attack, which rescue workers say killed more than 40 people in the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Douma, reports AFP.

If the U.S. action follows the pattern of a previous punitive strike on Syria past year, it will begin with a salvo of cruise missiles fired from United States warships in the Mediterranean, as Trump implied when he tweeted they would be "nice, new and 'smart'".

Trump has slammed Russian Federation for its partnership with "Gas Killing Animal" Assad, spurring concerns that a USA strike could lead to a conflagration with Russian Federation, which has major military facilities at Tartus and Khmeimim and works cheek-by-jowl with Syria forces that could be targeted.

Trump did not detail what a strike on Syria would look like, or whether these would be USA missiles.

Trump a year ago ordered a strike against Assad following a deadly sarin gas attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun.

"A perfectly executed strike", Mr Trump tweeted after US, French and British warplanes and ships launched more than 100 missiles almost unopposed by Syrian air defences.

The United States and its allies France and Britain want to send a clear and definitive message to Assad that the future use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated.

Photo President Trump met with advisers and top military leaders on Monday to discuss the potential for military action in Syria.

Peskov added there were no plans for Putin to call Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron or UK Prime Minister Theresa May amid the crisis.

Dana W. White, the chief Pentagon spokeswoman, said that to her knowledge no one in the Defense Department communicated with Moscow in advance, other than the acknowledged use of a military-to-military hotline that has routinely helped minimize the risk of U.S. But he tweeted Thursday that it may come "very soon or not so soon at all!"

Haley said the three USA goals for accomplishing its mission are making sure chemical weapons are not used in a way that could harm US national interests, defeating the Islamic State group and having a good vantage point to watch what Iran is doing.

Trump appeared to soften his rhetoric in a follow-up tweet Wednesday morning, saying there is "no reason" for the US's worsening relationship with Russian Federation and that "we need all nations to work together".

Trump also called out Russia's promise in 2013 that they would guarantee the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons.

At the U.N. Security Council Tuesday, Russia vetoed a US -drafted plan that would have set up a commission to investigate and assign blame for the chemical weapons attack.

The OPCW's fact-finding mission will not seek to establish who was responsible for the attack.

The tweet is also not consistent with Trump's own oft-stated promise never to tip his hand on the possibility of military action in order to avoid giving regimes like the one in Syria time to move military hardware out of harm's way.

Early Saturday morning, State TV also broadcast footage of hundreds of Syrians demonstrating against the USA and its allies in the landmark Omayyad Square in Damascus.

Military brass and senior national security officials huddled at the White House for 90 minutes on Thursday afternoon to consider their options.

President Donald Trump's early morning tweets foreshadowing a US airstrike on Syria quickly prompted the Twitterati to raise questions about USA strategy in Syria.

Trump's administration has sought to show toughness on Russian Federation, with a series of economic and diplomatic actions, including new sanctions last week against government officials and oligarchs.

Defense Secretary James Mattis said the USA specifically targeted the Syrian regime's chemical weapons program.

In another, he painted a dark picture of US-Russia relations but said it did not have to be that way.