Friday, 20 July, 2018

Donald Trump yet to make 'final decision' on Syria missile strike

Trump Promises Decision on Military Action Against Syria in Next Two Days Trump Cancels Trip to Latin America, Citing Crisis in Syria
Kenny Thornton | 17 April, 2018, 20:06

The meeting will take place in the wake of Trump's tweet warning Russian Federation to "get ready" for "nice and new and smart'" missiles that "will be coming" to Syria.

The statement was the latest in a war of words raging between Washington and Moscow since Saturday's suspected attack on the rebel-held town Douma, just outside Damascus, which is believed to have killed more than 40 people.

Trump caught most of his aides and the Pentagon off-guard on Wednesday by declaring on Twitter that "nice and new and "smart" missiles would soon be fired toward Syria - an announcement that came before an agreement had been reached between key USA allies, multiple American and Western officials said. 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!"

On Tuesday, Trump cancelled his first official trip to Latin America so he could focus on Syria.

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 USA has not formally confirmed either's involvement publicly.

White House officials did not reply to a request for more detail on Trump's remarks. "The United States has developed a new generation of electronic warfare munitions and decoys created to help USA strikes reach their targets, which could also see action". "But our efforts have been repeatedly thwarted" by Syria and Russian Federation, she said.

Senior Russian figures have threatened to meet any United States strikes with a response.

Efforts to find a diplomatic solution at the UN Security Council on Tuesday failed, with Washington and Moscow opposing each other's rival motions to set up an global investigation into chemical weapons use.

US, British and French attack aircraft, including two US Air Force B-1B strategic bombers, launched stealthy, long-range missiles from outside Syrian airspace, officials said.

The same officials say Syria has continued to produce or procure chlorine, which also has industrial and agricultural uses.

In addition to blaming Syria, Trump has further blamed Assad's backers in Iran and Russian Federation for the eastern Ghouta attack. On Thursday, however, he tweeted: "Never said when an attack on Syria would take place".

Russian officials react to joint attack
The government regained full control of Douma on Saturday following a surrender deal with the rebels in the town east of Damascus. The weekend's airstrikes in Syria and the country's seven-year-long civil war were also expected to be discussed.

"In particular, there were signs of severe irritation of mucous membranes, respiratory failure and disruption to central nervous systems of those exposed", the United Nations health agency said.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters that no final decision had been taken on military strikes.

The Mezzeh military airport southwest of the capital was said to be a target, as well.

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.

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

"The context of the relations has changed radically in the past year: We're in a state of a real and tangible Cold War", Lukyanov said.

"The department does not comment on potential future military actions".

The council has already failed to agree on a response to the attack in three votes and has been deadlocked throughout the Syrian civil war.

Retired Lt. Gen. Yevgeny Buzhinsky, the former chief of the Russian Defense Ministry's global department, warned that Russia has thousands of military advisers in Syria "practically in every battalion", and a strike on any Syrian facility could jeopardize their lives.

At the U.N. Security Council Tuesday, Russia vetoed a USA -drafted plan that would have set up a commission to investigate and assign blame for the chemical weapons attack.

Mr Trump, Mr Macron and UK Prime Minister Theresa May will have to sort through a range of issues before deciding to act. That meant airstrikes, possibly in tandem with France and other allies that have expressed outrage at the alleged Syrian chemical attack, could be launched within hours of a presidential decision.

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