WASHINGTON • President Donald Trump warned Russia to “get ready” because a volley of US missiles would soon be sent into 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!’,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
For the second time in less than a year, Trump is weighing a military response to a gas attack. This time, he’s under pressure to hit harder and take bigger risks. The attack Trump ordered last year was limited to a single Syrian base and left little lasting damage. A new retaliatory strike will almost certainly inflict greater damage and probably hit more targets important to President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime.
“It’s unlikely that another set of oneoff strikes will deter Assad,” said Jennifer Cafarella, a Syria analyst at the Institute for the Study of War. Trump needs to “establish a more effective deterrent by inflicting greater costs on Assad and perhaps his backers”.
French President Emmanuel Macron indicated on Tuesday he believes Syria used chemical weapons in violation of United Nations resolutions and that a decision on how to respond would come from France and its allies, particularly the US and the UK, “in the coming days”. Macron said any attack would be aimed at the regime’s chemical “capabilities” and not at its Iranian and Russian allies.
Eurocontrol, a European air traffic agency, asked airlines to apply caution on flights to the eastern Mediterranean region because of possible air strikes over the next 72 hours.