Can Russia Really Shoot Down US Missiles in Syria?

Simon Dawson – WPA Pool  Getty ImagesBritain’s Prime Minister Theresa May

Simon Dawson – WPA Pool Getty ImagesBritain’s Prime Minister Theresa May

US President Donald Trump warned on Wednesday (Apr 11) that "missiles will be coming" in response to an alleged chemical attack in Syria, raising the stakes in an increasingly perilous face-off with Russian Federation.

"Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria", Trump tweeted early Wednesday morning. "Get ready Russian Federation, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'", Trump wrote.

A similar chemical attack a year ago that killed more than 80 people in northern Syria prompted a limited US retaliation that targeted an air base from which aircraft involved in the strike likely deployed from.

He claimed United States relations with Russian Federation are now worse than ever before, including during the Cold War. There is no reason for this. "Stop the arms race?"

The Kremlin has warned the U.S. and its allies that a military strike against Syria could lead to further instability in the region.

Russian Federation on Wednesday announced it will send troops to the Syrian town of Douma in the aftermath of a deadly chemical weapons attack there, according to multiple reports. France and the United Kingdom have agreed that action should be taken against whoever was behind the attack, but have stopped short of pointing the finger of blame squarely at the Syrian regime. Mr Trump cancelled a foreign trip to manage a crisis that is testing his vow to stand up to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Saturday's strike, which killed more than 40 people, was nearly certainly carried out by the Assad regime, which is trying to pound into submission some of the last rebel strongholds in the country.

Russia's Foreign Ministry responded to Trump's threat by saying the U.S. should focus on eliminating internationally recognised terrorist forces in Syria, not the government.

Despite the fact that the alleged chemical attack in Syria's Douma, blamed on Damascus, still lacks any reliable evidence, Theresa May is reportedly ready to take action to prevent another one.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons, calling the claims a pretext for a military attack.

The Eurocontrol airspace organization said that the European Aviation Safety Agency had sent a "Rapid Alert Notification" that flight operators needed to consider the possibility of air or missile strikes on Syria.

Asked whether the USA military was ready to conduct an attack in Syria if ordered, Mattis replied, "We stand ready to provide military options if they're appropriate, as the president determined".

"And we believe that those responsible should be held to account".

Chemical weapons are banned under global law, though there have been repeated accusations of their use in Syria's bloody and long-running civil war, which has killed more than half a million people.

May does not legally require Parliament's backing for military action, though it is conventional for lawmakers to be given the chance to vote.

If such threats from the USA and its allies, France and Britain, are meant to stop Damascus from fighting terrorism, "they are delusional", the statement also said.

He also tweeted: "Why do we keep broadcasting when we are going to attack Syria".

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