Remarkable Trump threat against Russia – via Twitter

Donald Trump is well known for his controversial use of Twitter to communicate with the world, but this is one of his most remarkable – and worrying – tweets.

This has the potential to escalate into war between the superpowers, but the US has also been directly involved in the civil war in Syria, so has been effectively a partner with the Syrian regime.

This tweet appears to be in reaction to a Russian warning they had the technology to shoot down any missiles.

Reuters: Trump signals strikes against Syria, lays into Assad backer Russia

Trump was reacting to a warning from Russia that any U.S. missiles fired at Syria over the deadly assault on a rebel enclave near Damascus would be shot down and the launch sites targeted.

His comments raised fears of direct conflict over Syria for the first time between the two world powers backing opposing sides in the seven-year-old civil war, which has aggravated instability across the Middle East.

“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!’ You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!” Trump tweeted, referring to Moscow’s alliance with Assad.

In response, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said: “Smart missiles should fly towards terrorists, not towards the lawful government”.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said any U.S. missile salvo could be an attempt to destroy evidence of the reported gas attack in the Syrian town of Douma, for which Damascus and Moscow have denied any responsibility.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, striking a cautious tone hours after Trump’s threat of missile strikes, said the United States was assessing intelligence about the suspected attack.

Asked if he had seen enough evidence to blame Assad, Mattis said: “We’re still working on this.”

He did not elaborate but added that the U.S. military stood ready to provide military options, if appropriate. It was unclear whether his remarks reflected any unease about Trump’s apparent move toward military action.

In Moscow, the head of a Russian parliamentary defence committee, Vladimir Shamanov, said Russia was in direct contact with the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff about the situation.

After Trump’s tweet, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based war monitor, said pro-government forces were emptying main airports and military air bases.

The US has already launched a previous (last year)  token missile strike against a Syrian airport, but with the Trump versus Russia and threats over the last few days this has the potential to blow up into something far more serious – and it could be made worse by Trump’s tweeting.

This follows on from recent claims by Trump that the US would be “coming out of Syria, like, very soon”.

Time: Why the Syrian Civil War Is Becoming Even More Complex

The situation in Syria only grows more complicated.

Donald Trump says he wants a U.S. troop drawdown; his advisors and Saudi Arabia’s crown prince (a U.S. ally) disagree. Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani met last week in Ankara to plot a way forward—and all that was before the Assad regime launched a chemical attack in a rebel-occupied Damascus suburb over the weekend, killing at least 42 and drawing international cries of outrage, Trump’s among them.

The U.S. has about 2,000 troops deployed in Syria and has already spent nearly $30 billion waging war there—it’s requested an additional $13 billion for fiscal year 2018. The Pentagon wants to keep U.S. forces in Syria indefinitely (as did Rex Tillerson’sState Department), but Trump’s recent remarks at an infrastructure speech in Ohio that “we’ll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon” threw the U.S. security establishment for a loop. Meanwhile, Trump’s military advisors argue that pulling out of Syria now will only give ISIS the oxygen it needs to re-expand.

Last week, the White House walked back Trump’s pullout comment. But reports over the weekend that Assad deployed chemical attacks to break the rebels’ hold of Douma, a suburb of the country’s capital, drew Trump’s fury: “President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay,” Trump tweeted, before adding that Obama shoulders part of the blame for not living up to his own declared red lines in Syria. Trump is not wrong in that regard. The real question is what the U.S. does next.

And what Russia does next or in response to any US military action.

20 Comments

  1. artcroft

     /  April 12, 2018

    That’s twice gas has been used in Syria while Trump has been president. It appears Putin takes Trump less seriously than Obama.

    • David

       /  April 12, 2018

      That isn’t possible. Obama forced Syria to get rid of all their chemical weapons. He even gave a big speech about how awesome he was for achieving this.

    • David

       /  April 12, 2018

      Just to add, Syria used chemical weapons dozens of times while Obama was president and had his ‘red line’.

  2. David

     /  April 12, 2018

    I think the token strike on an airport is a bit tough, he took out 25% of the Syrian airforce.
    I think some caution needs taken over this as its beyond stupid for Assad to use chemical weapons, he has just about won, the US said they were pulling out, he knows its a red line for Trump who will smack him hard.
    I know Asaad is a dangerous loon but not stupid and there is some large strategic advantage for the rebels to “stage” this or make it look like Asaad. First casualty of war being the truth and all that.

    • Gezza

       /  April 12, 2018

      This is actually something that has been engaging my mind. There is absolutely no doubt Assad is winning this war. The last holdouts in Eastern Ghouta are the third separate group who have not yet surrendered like the other two – they are an Islamic fundamentalist group formerly Al Nusra/Al Qaeda aligned who refuse to evacuate to Idlib – not because Idlib is next on the wipeout list – but because they fight with the rebel groups who are now there.

      It is so totally counterproductive for Assad to use chemical weapons when they have absolutely no need to that I am suspicious about who has actually used them, especially given who & what this last group of rebels are.

      • David

         /  April 12, 2018

        Mattis is taking his time, apparently Russia and the US are in contact militarily so there are sober heads. Thank you for the detail Gezza it just seemed the rebels could literally get the US to bomb the shit out of Asaad and we have seen this sort of subterfuge before.

  3. Blazer

     /  April 12, 2018

    the novachok construct to demonise Russia is not going well at all…divert to Plan B.

  4. lurcher1948

     /  April 12, 2018

    The thought that an orange man can bring the end of mankind is a bit hard to take.

  5. Griff

     /  April 12, 2018

    Syria ?

    Oh shite
    Michael Cohen under investigation.

    Look squirrel.

    • David

       /  April 12, 2018

      So you think Trump pre emptively got the US military to launch a chemical weapon attack on civilians and Mattis was on board with this. Perhaps it was an isolated climatic event and finally someone has found some evidence of global warming.

      • Griff

         /  April 12, 2018

        Hello David.
        The ground work of the green house theory was first published by Eunice Newton Foote in 1856. Since then tens of thousands of scientific papers have expanded on the theory.
        Every single significant scientific body on the planet is convinced by the evidence for human caused global warming.

        That you are ignorant of reality just explains why you support Trump.

  6. Griff

     /  April 12, 2018

    Coming must watch episode of our favorite soap.

  7. lurcher1948

     /  April 12, 2018

    What sort of idiot announces his attack plans?WAIT [Deleted, use his name] with lots of problems.

  8. Trump is doing what he slammed Obama for doing in 2013:

    • Gezza

       /  April 12, 2018

      Why is that a surprise? He doesn’t bother to keep track of what he said in the morning and try and be consistent in the afternoon. Let alone 5 days, weeks, months, or years ago.

  9. Zedd

     /  April 12, 2018

    perhaps Mr T is just taking the baton & charging toward the NWO ?! :/

  10. unitedtribes2

     /  April 12, 2018

    Assad attacks terrorist village
    Terrorists put on white helmets and take video putting children under hose
    MSM report worldwide
    Western World agust
    West bomb Assad
    Terrorist win.