Trump tells Russia to get ready for US missile strike on Syria

  • President Donald Trump threw down the gauntlet on Wednesday morning by telling Russia to prepare for a US missile strike on Syria in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack.

  • A Russian diplomat had previously threatened to shoot down US missiles, and the platforms that fire them, if they attack Syria.

  • But the Kremlin itself has urged caution, and tried to talk the US down from a strike on Syria.

President Donald Trump threw down the gauntlet on Wednesday morning by telling Russia to prepare for a US missile strike on Syria in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack.

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

Trump's tweet follows Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin told Hezbollah's al-Manar TV that "If there is a strike by the Americans, then... the missiles will be downed and even the sources from which the missiles were fired."

When the US last struck Syria over it's alleged chemical weapons attack in April 2017, it used US Navy guided-missile destroyers to launch the missiles.

"The Russian military in Syria has air defence systems theoretically capable of shooting down US Tomahawk missiles," Justin Bronk, an air combat expert at the Royal United Services Inistitute told Business Insider, referring to the type of missiles the US used against Syria in its last strike.

But, according to Bronk, a large salvo of US missiles could overwhelm the defenses, which are "are largely unproven in actual combat use."

Also, due to the extremely high stakes of the US and Russia, the world's greatest nuclear and military powers, going to war over Syria, a peripheral interest for both countries, it's "extremely unlikely to actually attack US ships or aircraft outside of Syrian territory, if at all," according to Bronk.

And while one Russian diplomat did say that US missiles would be shot down and met with a counter-attack, the Kremlin's official line has urged calm.

"We would like to hope that all sides will avoid any steps that a) are not provoked by anything and b) could significantly destabilize an already fragile situation in the region," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with reporters, according to Reuters.

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