Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Trump holds Syria, Russia 'responsible' for chemical attack

Trump holds Syria, Russia 'responsible' for chemical attack

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders insisted Wednesday that a missile strike remains one of the many options on the table and said the President's tweet does not complicate the planning of a US response.

"Final decisions haven't been made yet", press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

Ms Wormuth said the early telegraphing of USA military actions also allowed Syria, Russia and Iran to think about "how they in return might try to fight back against it".

"We'll be making some major decisions over the next 24 to 48 hours", Trump said during a Cabinet meeting a day after saying there would be "a big price to pay" by Syria and Assad.

"Get ready Russia", Trump tweeted, warning that missiles "will be coming" in retaliation for Saturday's attack against civilians. "Get ready Russian Federation, 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's tweet could force military leaders to modify their analysis related to "targets, timing and teamwork", according to CNN military analyst John Kirby.

A Kremlin spokesman warned the USA and its allies against any steps that could destabilise the situation in Syria.

If confirmed, the town's seizure would mark the last stage of the regime of Syrian Assad's takeover of the rebel-held enclave of eastern Ghouta.

The Syrian government called his threats to attack "reckless", claiming they endanger global peace and security, a report broadcast on state TV said.

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As it looked to head off the threat of Western strikes, Syria said it had invited the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which has blamed the regime for previous attacks, to visit the site.

Last year, the United States military formally notified Russian Federation over a hotline shortly before 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles struck the Shayrat air base.

"The first thing we have to look at is why are chemical weapons still being used at all when Russian Federation was the framework guarantor of removing all the chemical weapons", Mattis said.

While the US, France and Britain have the latest-technology cruise missiles, the presence of Russia's S-400 air defense system in Syria argues for caution. He committed the this approach last April when he struck Syrian air bases following a chemical attack on civilians by the Assad regime.

Trump has maintained that both Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who supports the Assad regime, are to blame, but the us has not formally confirmed either's involvement publicly.

The hellish scenes have played out before in Syria: women and children dead or suffering in agony, the targeted victims of chemical weapons attacks.

The Department stressed that the USA leader has not yet made a final decision on further action in Syria.

In his televised address from the White House on Friday evening, Mr Trump said the United States was prepared to sustain economic, diplomatic and military pressure on Mr Assad until the Syrian leader ends what the USA president called a criminal pattern of killing his own people with internationally banned chemical weapons.

Trump's spokeswoman dismissed this idea, and pointedly refused to say that concern about the risks of a direct confrontation with Russian Federation would hold the USA military back.

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The Trump era has been packed with shocks and unpredictable turns, but the raid by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents Monday on the personal lawyer of the President of the United States left many people in Washington shaking their heads in disbelief.

Washington and Moscow both have said that a hotline established in 2015 to prevent incidents between their militaries in Syria has worked well, but the rising stakes make the situation more unstable than ever during the Syrian conflict.

For the moment, the likelihood of more military action appeared diminished.

Peskov added there were no plans for Putin to call Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron or UK Prime Minister Theresa May amid the crisis. CNN also reported that the US used B-1 bombers, which are capable of firing cruise missiles.

But apart from Tehran and Moscow, which support the Syrian government, much of the world saw the USA -led strikes as justified and hoped it would prove a deterrent to Bashar al-Assad's regime.

"President Trump was quick to call out Assad today, along with the Russian and Iranian governments, on Twitter", McCain said.

"Our relationship with Russian Federation is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War", Trump said in a tweet.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said any United States missile strike 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.

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