Published: Fri, April 13, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Hattie Nash

Syria says USA threats 'reckless escalation': state agency

Syria says USA threats 'reckless escalation': state agency

Responding to Moscow's warning to shoot down any missile fired at Syria, US President Donald Trump has addressed Russian Federation via Twitter, warning of "nice and new and smart" missiles coming to the war-torn country.

The Pentagon, after President Donald Trump tweeted that missiles "will be coming" to Syria, said on Wednesday that it would not comment on potential future military operations.

Trump's condemnation of the apparent chemical assault on the rebel-held Syrian town of Douma raised the prospect of US military retaliation nearly a year after he ordered a cruise missile strike on a Syrian air base after a similar poison gas attack.

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The tweet came after the Russian ambassador to Lebanon said in an interview on Tuesday with Hezbollah-owned al-Manar TV that "if there is a United States missile attack, we - in line with both Putin and Russia's chief of staff's remarks - will shoot down U.S. rockets and even the sources that launched the missiles".

Watch Morning Joe react to the tweet above.

Trump later tweeted that Russian-US relations are "worse now" than ever before. Trump promised a big response and has consulted with his national security team and foreign leaders for days about whether, and how hard, to strike Assad. Russia vetoed a USA text, while two Russian-drafted resolutions failed to get a minimum nine votes to pass. The president urged Moscow to stop the arms race it was conducting, as Russian Federation needed the US' help.

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On Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Moscow welcomes the decision by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to send its experts to the site of the alleged chemical attack in the Syrian settlement of Douma.

At the same time, we expect that in the event of USA strikes, if any, the lives of our servicemen will not be in danger. Washington argued it was attacking Islamic State in Syria to eliminate a threat to Iraq, the United States and its allies.

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".

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Meanwhile, The Telegraph has reported that British submarines are being moved within "missile range" of Syria - and that military action could start on Thursday night.

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