United Nations calls urgent Syria meeting after Trump threat

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

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

United States President Donald Trump warned Russian Federation yesterday of imminent military action in Syria over a suspected gas attack, declaring that missiles will be coming and lambasting Moscow for standing by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The US attack is using an alleged chemical weapons strike Saturday in Douma as a pretext, with Trump vowing to make Syria "pay the price", along with Russian Federation and Iran for supporting Assad.

A day after warning Russian Federation in a tweet that "missiles will be coming" to Syria, President Trump said on Twitter that an airstrike was not necessarily imminent.

"Get ready, Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and "smart".

But in a statement Wednesday, WHO, citing reports from its health partners, said an estimated 500 patients seen at medical facilities exhibited symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals.

Trump has been weighing US military options in Syria in the wake of Saturday's chemical attack that killed at least 40 people.

Mattis was expected to voice those concerns in Thursday's meeting at the White House, according to U.S. officials.

Trump chastised Syria's two main allies, Russia and Iran, for their roles in supporting "murderous dictators", and noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin had guaranteed a 2013 worldwide agreement for Assad to get rid of all of his chemical weapons.

Trump's tweet could force military leaders to modify their analysis related to "targets, timing and teamwork", according to CNN military analyst John Kirby.

Advisers were reportedly surprised by the tweet, with one senior White House official telling the Post they found the tweet "alarming" and "distracting". "The United States has developed a new generation of electronic warfare munitions and decoys created to help USA strikes reach their targets, which could also see action". He criticized Syria and Russian Federation for not allowing investigators access to the site.

Dunford said the USA did not co-ordinate targets with or notify the Russian government of the strikes, beyond normal airspace "de-confliction" communications.

The UN Security Council has scheduled a closed-door meeting on Thursday morning to discuss the threat of military escalation in the country. The US-drafted resolution would have allowed investigators to apportion blame for the suspected attack, while Russia's version would have left that to the Security Council.

Mattis said he personally believes Syria is guilty of an "inexcusable" use of chemical weapons, while noting that the worldwide fact-finding team would likely fall short of determining who was responsible.

Trump tweeted Sunday that the strike was "perfectly carried out" and that "the only way the Fake News Media could demean was by my use of the term "Mission Accomplished." He added that he knew the media would "seize" on the phrase, but said it should be used often.

Syria and its ally Russian Federation deny such an attack happened.

Assad's government and Russian Federation have said there was no evidence a gas attack had taken place and that the claim was bogus.

But this year, should the United States and allies like Britain, France and others from the Middle East launch strikes on Syria, the government could have more time to prepare itself.

"Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path, or if it will join with civilized nations as a force for stability and peace", Trump said.

But she said "no final decision has been made". Western allies are considering intervening military action.

He had repeatedly said he would not telegraph military moves towards foes.

In his next tweet the American president stated that American-Russian relations are now the worst in history and also suggested Russia should stop the arms race.

The Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Assad's government had been asked to make necessary arrangements for an OPCW investigation team to visit shortly.

President Trump has been working the phones in recent days, with calls to French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said there were no reports of US losses in what he described as a heavy but carefully limited assault.

The strikes were in response to a suspected gas attack on the rebel-held city of Douma last weekend.

But too intense a response to the latest attack risks escalating the Syrian civil war and exacerbating military tensions between major world powers that all have proxies on the ground, according to analysts.

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