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Thread: Trump says missiles ‘will be coming’ to Syria, taunts Russia for vowing to block them

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  1. #1
    MW
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    Trump says missiles ‘will be coming’ to Syria, taunts Russia for vowing to block them

    Trump says missiles ‘will be coming’ to Syria, taunts Russia for vowing to block them



    President Trump at a news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven at the White House last month. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

    By Anne Gearan, John Wagner and Anton Troianovski April 11 at 2:52 PM Email the author

    President Trump warned Wednesday that U.S. airstrikes on Syria “will be coming” in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack, although he did not say when, and he taunted Syrian ally Russia for a pledge to shoot down American missiles.

    Both the United States and Russia escalated a war of words over claims of indiscriminate attacks on civilians in Syria, raising the possibility of open military conflict between the old Cold War adversaries.

    “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 on Twitter,referring to missile strikes that have appeared likely since the weekend deaths of more than 40 Syrian civilians, including children.

    It was the first explicit U.S. statement that a military response is in the offing, and it marked a turnabout for a president who ridiculed his predecessor, Barack Obama, for allegedly telegraphing military strategy.

    By addressing his warning to Russia, Trump effectively acknowledged that Syria could become a proxy battleground. Russia is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s strongest military defender. The United States conducts counterterrorism operations in Syria and backs some anti-Assad rebels.
    2:58
    “You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!” Trump wrote, in one of his most direct criticisms of Moscow.

    U.S. officials, while stressing that planning for airstrikes has been careful and orderly, and has involved diplomatic and intelligence agencies as well as the Pentagon, said Trump’s direct threat Wednesday took government officials by surprise. Trump’s description of “smart” weaponry appeared to flow at least partly from briefings Monday and Tuesday that included options involving guided missiles, a senior U.S. official said.

    The official requested anonymity because the U.S. plan is not final.

    Russian President Vladi*mir Putin did not directly respond to Trump’s threats when he appeared at the Kremlin several hours later, at a ceremony welcoming new foreign ambassadors to Moscow. But he told the assembled diplomats that “the state of things in the world cannot but provoke concern.”

    “The situation in the world is increasingly chaotic,” Putin said. “Nevertheless, we hope that common sense will prevail in the end and that international relations will become more constructive — that the whole global system will become more stable and predictable.”

    Earlier this week, Trump said his administration was working on a response to the suspected chemical attack on Saturday, including military options. He said Monday that a decision would come in 24 to 48 hours, a time frame that has now elapsed and has been complicated by the advent of an international inspection of the attack area.
    0:57
    President Trump said "nothing's off the table" in responding to a chemical attack in Syria, and that he'd be "very tough" on Russia if they were involved. (Photo: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia did not plan to respond in kind to Trump’s tweeted taunt.
    “We do not participate in Twitter diplomacy,” Peskov said, according to Russian news reports. “We are supporters of serious approaches. We continue to believe that it is important not to take steps that could harm an already fragile situation.”

    Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that a missile strike could undermine the work of international inspectors who will examine the site of the suspected chemical attack.

    “Smart missiles should be fired at terrorists and not at the legitimate government which has been fighting terrorists,” Zakharova wrote on Facebook. “Or is the trick to destroy all the traces with a smart missile strike and then there will be no evidence for international inspectors to look for?”

    Trump appeared to be referring to a comment from Russia’s ambassador to Lebanon, who was quoted by a Lebanese news outlet Tuesday as saying that Russia would confront a U.S. strike on Syria by shooting down missiles and striking their launchpads or points of origin.

    The missiles most likely to be used in a U.S. attack would probably be launched from U.S. warships, opening the possibility that the Russian diplomat was threatening open warfare.

    Two Navy destroyers were used to launch more than 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base in April 2017 in response to a nerve-agent attack that Trump blamed on Assad. The destroyers were underway in the Mediterranean Sea when the missiles were launched from hundreds of miles away. That position was beyond the range of Syrian air defenses, but within range of potential Russian defenses.

    The 2017 U.S. assault is probably the best guide for what Trump may do now, but he could choose other launch options. The strike a year ago made good on Trump’s vow not to let the use of chemical weapons go unpunished, but it failed to deter Assad from using them again.

    [Experts see hallmarks of nerve gas in Syria attack]

    The United States has been building a circumstantial case, based largely on videos and photographs, that a chemical attack by Syrian forces took place in the rebel-held town of Douma in the Eastern Ghouta region near Damascus.
    Such a finding of fault would be the justification for a U.S. or allied military response that Syria and Russia would surely call a violation of international law. The finding would also help British and French leaders justify military participation with the unpopular American president.

    Syria and Russia have insisted that no chemical attack occurred and that only the opposition groups they call “terrorists” possess chemical weapons.

    Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was at the White House on Wednesday afternoon for meetings expected to focus on Syria. Beforehand, he was asked whether he has seen sufficient evidence to blame the Assad government for the attack.

    “We’re still assessing the intelligence, ourselves and our allies,” Mattis replied.

    “We stand ready to provide military options if they are appropriate, as the president determined.”

    Gen. Valery Gerasimov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces, has said the military would hit back if U.S. airstrikes endangered Russian servicemen in Syria.

    “Regarding the question of what will happen in the event of this or that strike, one still wants to hope that all sides will avoid steps that (a) are not provoked by anything in reality and (b) could significantly destabilize the already fragile situation in the region,” Peskov said Wednesday.

    Vladimir Shamanov, chairman of the defense committee of the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, said Russia is in contact with the Pentagon and NATO about the situation in Syria, according to Russian news reports.
    “Everybody can live peacefully and accomplish their objectives, because the state agencies of military, diplomatic and political administrative bodies are working around the clock for the third day in a row,” Shamanov said in an interview on the Rossiya 1 network.

    Meanwhile, a top Russian military official said Russian military police would enter Douma on Friday. He continued to dispute U.S. claims that a chemical attack took place in the town.

    The official, Lt. Gen. Viktor Poznikhir, deputy chief of operations of the Russian General Staff, said the United States should instead pay attention to the humanitarian situation in the city of Raqqa, which Kurdish-led forces and their American allies captured from the Islamic State last year.

    “Rather than declare its readiness to strike Syria with missiles, the United States should work on rebuilding the destroyed city and offer comprehensive help to the population,” Poznikhir said.

    In a later tweet Wednesday morning, Trump asserted that “our relationship with Russia is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War.”

    “There is no reason for this,” Trump wrote. “Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do, and we need all nations to work together. Stop the arms race?”

    He later wrote that “much of the bad blood” with Russia was the result of an ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He called the investigation “Fake & Corrupt.”

    Trump charged that the investigation is “headed up by all Democrat loyalists.” He cited special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, whom he called the “most conflicted of all,” and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who is overseeing the probe. Both Mueller and Rosenstein are Republicans.

    With his series of tweets, Trump did precisely what he vowed he would never to do: telegraph his moves.
    During his 2016 campaign, Trump regularly attacked Obama for previewing U.S. military strategy, which he argued gave the enemy an advantage by allowing it to fortify itself for the coming attack.

    “I have often said that General MacArthur and General Patton would be in a state of shock if they were alive today to see the way President Obama and Hillary Clinton try to recklessly announce their every move before it happens — like they did in Iraq — so that the enemy can prepare and adapt,” Trump said in an August 2016 speech on terrorism.
    As president, Trump has boasted that he does not disclose his plans ahead of time. In April 2017, as he contemplated a strike in Syria, Trump said, “One of the things I think you’ve noticed about me is: Militarily, I don’t like to say where I’m going and what I’m doing.”

    In 2013, he advised against any military intervention in Syria, suggesting it was a waste of U.S. energy and money. He also blasted Obama for signaling that a strike was imminent.

    “We have given Syria so much time and information-there has never been such an instance in wartime history. Syria is now fully prepared!” Trump wrote on Twitter on Sept. 1, 2013.

    Troianovski reported from Moscow. Philip Rucker in Washington and Louisa Loveluck in Istanbul contributed to this report.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-says-missiles-will-be-coming-to-syria-taunts-russia-for-vowing-to-block-them/2018/04/11/7dc52fa0-3d7a-11e8-8d53-eba0ed2371cc_story.html?utm_term=.f0e0c0fcb425


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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    They're still trying to verify that the airstrikes by Syrian forces in Douma the other day actually involved chemical bombs.
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    Trump is revealing U.S. intentions. That is something he was highly critical of Obama for doing. Sounds a little hypocritical to me. Someone please take his twitter away until until this Syria issue is resolved!
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    You're assuming his intentions are to strike Syria. That's a big assumption if you ask me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    You're assuming his intentions are to strike Syria. That's a big assumption if you ask me.
    Trump warns Russia to 'get ready' for U.S. strike on Syria - NBC News

    https://www.nbcnews.com/.../russia-will-target-u-s-military-if-strikes-hit-syria-n86490...
    Trump warns Russia to 'get ready' for U.S. strike on Syria.
    A Russian diplomat earlier said American military assets would be targeted in the event of missiles being fired at Syria. by F. Brinley Bruton and Keir Simmons / Apr.11.2018 / 3:19 AM ET / Updated 9:38 AM ET. The USS Donald Cook, a guided-missile destroyer, ...
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    I repeat, big assumption.
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Two U.S. government sources told Reuters the United States still did not have 100 percent solid evidence of what nerve agent was used in Syria and where it came from. However, there is some evidence it was sprayed from helicopters, they said.
    They sprayed nerve gas out of a .... helicopter?

    I don't think so.
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    MW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    You're assuming his intentions are to strike Syria. That's a big assumption if you ask me.
    So are you calling Trump a liar?

    President Trump warned Wednesday that U.S. airstrikes on Syria “will be coming” in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack, although he did not say when, and he taunted Syrian ally Russia for a pledge to shoot down American missiles.


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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    I'm calling your assumption a big assumption.
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    Trump warns Syria missiles ‘will be coming’ in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack

    Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets video shows medical workers treating toddlers following an alleged poison gas attack.


    BY CHRISTOPHER BRENNANDENIS SLATTERYTERENCE CULLEN
    NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

    Updated: Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 7:33 PM

    President Trump — despite his stated opposition to telegraphing his military intentions — put Syria on notice on Wednesday, promising that missiles “will be coming.”

    Trump’s Twitter warning of an imminent air strike in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack contradicted statements made by U.S. military leaders, and rankled Russia.

    Defense Secretary James Mattis said Wednesday that the U.S. is “still assessing the intelligence” on whether Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime is to blame for the chemical attack.

    “We stand ready to provide military options if they’re appropriate, as the President determined,” he said.

    Trump referred to Assad as a “Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”

    Mattis ignored a question about whether he was concerned by Trump showing the military’s hand to the enemy by tweeting.

    The social media warning from Trump was notable as he has criticized his predecessors in the past for stating their intentions publicly before taking military action.

    “Why do we keep broadcasting when we are going to attack Syria. Why can’t we just be quiet and, if we attack at all, catch them by surprise?” he tweeted in 2013.

    “I would not go into Syria, but if I did it would be by surprise and not blurted all over the media like fools,” he wrote in another.

    Trump repeatedly blistered former President Barack Obama during the 2016 campaign for warning of attacks.

    “We must as a nation be more unpredictable,” Trump said in one campaign speech. “We are totally predictable. We tell everything.”

    Syria’s Foreign Ministry said it was not surprised by the “reckless escalation” via Trump’s tweets, Syrian state-run news agency SANA reported.

    Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in televised remarks that “we don’t participate in Twitter diplomacy,” adding that “it’s important not to make any steps that could further destabilize the already fragile situation.”

    Trump — who only a week ago said he wanted to pull the remaining U.S. troops fighting ISIS out of Syria —did not provide any details about what a strike would look like.

    “The President has not laid out a timetable and is still leaving a number of other options on the table,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

    Trump’s national security team, led by Vice President Pence, met Wednesday afternoon, Sanders said.
    She repeated that the U.S. is in communication with allies about the response and “all options are on the table.”

    Last year, Trump ordered a missile strike on a Syrian airbase following a similar chemical atrocity believed to have been committed by the Assad regime.

    Syria has been embroiled in a devastating civil war since 2011 that has left more than half a million people dead and displaced more than 5.5 million refugees.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/worl...icle-1.3927525

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