Syria conflict: Assad regime's runways in line of US fire

Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned on Thursday that threats of Western military action in response to an alleged chemical attack would only lead to further chaos in the region.

One day after warning regime-backer Russian Federation that "missiles will be coming" to Syria, Trump in another early morning tweet storm wrote: "Never said when an attack on Syria would take place".

The Massachusetts Democrat said that while Assad's barbaric use of chemical weapons must never again occur, Trump "must come to Congress for authorization" prior to another military operation against Syria. According to the statement uploaded to the organization's website on April 8, chlorine bombs were dropped on the city to kill dozens and poison other local civilians who had to be brought to hospital.

Yet Trump broke his own rule with this tweet, letting Russia, Syria, and the rest of the world know that a missile strike is on the way.

Trump has consulted with USA allies, particularly France and the United Kingdom, about a coordinated response to the suspected chemical attack, but officials say they have not reached a firm agreement on scale or timing.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Thursday that President Emmanuel Macron would decide whether to launch an attack over the "non-respect of the worldwide convention against chemical weapons", which is a "red line" for France.

Russian media reported on Wednesday that the U.S. would provide Russia with a list of its targets for the Syria strike.

Speculation the Syrian dictator has been evacuated with his family has been sweeping social media since US President Donald Trump threatened military action.

There was no official announcement by Damascus, however, and no indication that Syrian government forces had entered the town of Douma on Thursday.


A child evacuated from Douma receives preventive medicine upon arrival in Al-Bab district, Aleppo, Syria, 11 April 2018 (issued 12 April 2018).

The U.S., France and Britain were in extensive consultations about launching a military strike as early as the end of this week, U.S. officials have said.

Trump's tweet received sharp caution from the Russians. Opposition activists and rescuers say at least 40 people were killed.

But the White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted no final decisions had been taken and that "all options are on the table".

Mr Peskov said the Kremlin was closely following Syria-related announcements from Washington and reiterated a Kremlin call for restraint.

Russian Federation has been involved in the Syrian conflict since 2015 and became Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's main ally in the war against armed opposition groups.

During a Cabinet meeting Thursday morning, the president said, "We are looking very seriously, very closely at that situation and we will see what happens folks". For one, Trump said the missiles headed toward Syria include some that are "smart".

Shortly after warning that missiles were coming, Trump tweeted that the US "relationship with Russian Federation is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War".

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