Trump taunts Russian Federation, threatens missiles 'will be coming' over Syria

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain R-Ariz. pauses before speaking to reporters during a meeting of the National Defense Authorization Act conferees on Capitol Hill in Washington Wednesday Oct. 25 2017

In apparently launching a chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Douma in western Syria on April 7, 2018, Syrian leader Bashar Al Assad seems to be deliberately testing, even daring, US president Donald Trump to strike back.

The comments come a day after the president, apparently reacting to comments made by the Russian ambassador to Lebanon that Moscow would shoot down any missiles fired at Syria, warned the Motherland that the missiles "will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'". Get ready Russian Federation, because they will be coming, nice and new and "smart!" USA officials have been consulting with France, Britain and other allies on a possible joint military operation, but the timing remained in doubt Wednesday.

Moscow and Washington stymied attempts by each other at the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday to set up global investigations into chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

Trump on Tuesday warned that the US was prepared to take "forceful" action.

He said the missiles would be "new and 'smart!'" He threatened Russian Federation and called its relations with the United States worse than during the Cold War, yet blamed the ill will not on Moscow but on the special counsel investigation. Bush addressed sailors aboard a Navy ship in May 2003 alongside a "Mission Accomplished" banner, just weeks before it became apparent that Iraqis had organized an insurgency that tied down USA forces for years.

But British Prime Minister Theresa May said there was little doubt the Syrian government used a barrel bomb - large containers packed with fuel, explosives and scraps of metal - to deliver the chemicals at Douma. If that softer option doesn't work, the Russian military could use an array of its state-of-the-art air defense assets in Syria to target the USA cruise missiles or drones.

US President Donald Trump (left) and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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

When the USA fired Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airfield a year ago after a chemical weapons attack, the Pentagon gave Moscow advance warning to get its personnel out of harm's way.

Russian Federation has military forces, including air defences, in several areas of Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad in his long war against anti-government rebels.

The Pentagon said it wasn't conducting airstrikes, with a spokesman saying that "we continue to closely watch the situation".

Both Syria and its main backer, Russia, have denied responsibility and have claimed the reports were fabricated to justify a US attack on Syria.

"Due to the possible launch of air strikes into Syria with air-to-ground and/or cruise missiles within the next 72 hours, and the possibility of intermittent disruption of radio navigation equipment, due consideration needs to be taken when planning flight operations in the Eastern Mediterranean/Nicosia FIR area", the agency warned. The administration said that Trump would "oversee the American response to Syria". According to the Russian intelligence, the United States is pushing for possible strikes to target the ministry of defence and army headquarters in Damascus, he said. The attack took place in the Damascus suburb of Douma, reportedly killing 49 civilians.

"The big question is what coherent and decisive strategy lies beyond military action". In fact, for some months, the disparate groups backed by various external nations all vying for power in Syria even set much of their conflict aside to focus on ousting ISIS from the region - but with ISIS no longer a formidable threat in Syria, tensions are once again ratcheting up and Trump may now be hoping for a repeat of last April's strike - one that's heavy in message but light in geopolitical fallout.

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