Trump telegraphs Syria strike by warning Russia

Matt Saintsing
April 11, 2018 - 12:36 pm

Photo by Oliver Contreras/SIPA USA

President Donald Trump warned Syria and Russia on Wednesday to “get ready” for a missile strike on Syria, and pushed the Kremlin to not work with a “Gas Killing Animal.”

"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!'," Trump tweeted. "You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!"

The president’s early morning tweets are significant in that he appears to be telegraphing the United States’ military response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, something he has repeatedly criticized others for doing.  

Trump has previously said that sharing potential military plans could give our enemies and adversaries an advantage.

His next tweet was perhaps a bit softer. After he warned Moscow and Damascus what could potentially happen in Syria, Trump said that relations between the U.S. and Russia were worse than during the Cold War.

Russia has not taken responsibility for the suspected chemical attack, and in fact, needled the United States on its military capability. Maria Zakharova, the Russian foreign ministry spokesperson, said that if American firepower was so “smart” than they should target terrorists and not Syrian government sites.  

The U.S. has been quite critical of Russia for supporting the Syrian regime, led by the brutal dictator Bashar al-Assad, believed to be the source of the alleged chemical attack on April 7 that left dozens of Syrian civilians dead.

Last year, when the U.S. struck the Syrian regime, Trump provided Russia with advance warning just prior to a Tomahawk missile strike on the Syrian air base believed responsible for last year’s chemical weapons attack. That warning was made to Russia to avoid Russian causalities advising Syria.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the military was ready to act when asked about the possibility of a Syrian strike. “We stand ready to provide military options if they are appropriate,” said Mattis.