Trump seeks to build alliance to strike Syria

Saturday, 21 Apr, 2018

But the news comes as at least one USA guided-missile destroyer set off for the coast of Syria after Trump stated the possibility of a military response. He said Syria's air defenses were ineffective and that numerous more than 40 surface-to-air missiles fired by the Syrians were launched after the allied attack was over. "Get ready Russian Federation, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'" he said.

"You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!" he said, referring to Syria's Bashar al-Assad. "When I will not say because I don't like talking about timing".

"Smart missiles should fly toward terrorists, not the legal government that has been fighting worldwide terrorism for several years on its territory", Zakharova wrote in response to Trump's Wednesday tweet.

Russia's military has propped up Assad's regime as it wages a multiway war against both the so-called Islamic State and various antigovernment forces.

United States president comments come after the Russian ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander Zasypkin, warned that American military assets would be targeted in the event of a strike against Syria.

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

A military strike against Syria in retaliation for last weekend's suspected chemical attack "could be very soon or not so soon at all!"

Disputing the Russian military's contention that Syrian air defense units downed 71 allied missiles, McKenzie said no US or allies missiles were stopped.

President Donald Trump has emerged from a meeting with his national security team without a "final decision" on how to respond to a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria.

Trump spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday, whose government officials are also in the midst of extensive consultations with each other about launching a military strike as early as the end of this week. But the OPCW will not seek to establish who was responsible for the attack.

"If there is a USA missile attack, we - in line with both [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and Russia's chief of staff's remarks - will shoot down USA rockets and even the sources that launched the missiles", he said, according to Al Jazeera. Russian Federation is Assad's most powerful ally and its devastating air power has helped him wrest back large areas of territory from rebels since 2015.

The targets of that strike included Syrian aircraft, aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage facilities, ammunition supply bunkers, air defence systems and radar. A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, is in the Mediterranean.

Meanwhile, the Russian defense ministry said the Syrian regime flag was flying in Douma - the target of Saturday's attack - which it said indicated government forces have taken full control over the formerly rebel-held district of Eastern Ghouta.