Deliberations by the United States and its allies are still unfolding several days after a suspected chemical attack by the Syrian government against a rebel-held area killed more than 50 civilians and prompted calls for a forceful global response. "Get ready Russian Federation, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'", Trump wrote.
The Russian army on Wednesday accused the White Helmets civil defense organization of staging a chemical weapons attack in Douma, where observers say more than 40 people died in a gas attack.
Trump's latest threat is a response to comments made by Alexander Zasypkin, Russia's ambassador to Lebanon, who on Tuesday evening said Russia would respond to any USA strike on Syri by targeting any missiles and launchers.
Both Trump and his defence secretary Jim Mattis abruptly cancelled upcoming travel plans on Tuesday, as the USS Donald Cook - a guided-missile destroyer - moved to within striking range of Syria.
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.
Photo President Trump met with advisers and top military leaders on Monday to discuss the potential for military action in Syria.
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Mattis' remarks at a House Armed Services Committee hearing followed a series of Trump tweets this week that initially indicated he was committed to bombing Syria but later suggested he was awaiting further advice and assessment.
Unlike the Vietnam War, where Soviet advisers helping North Vietnam supposedly weren't directly engaged in combat, the potential clash in Syria would pit Russian Federation directly against the U.S.
Thus, Syria and Russian Federation have every reason to expect a retaliatory attack, and no doubt began preparing their defense straight away.
Senior Russian figures have threatened to meet any USA strikes with a response.
Russia, which backs Mr Assad, has softened its initial threats to retaliate against USA ships and bases in event of an attack.
A spokesman said: "Cabinet agreed it was vital that the use of chemical weapons did not go unchallenged".
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.
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Russian Federation and Iran called the use of force by the United States and its allies a "military crime" and "act of aggression".
"We have proof that last week. chemical weapons were used, at least chlorine was, and they were used by the Assad regime", he said.
"Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria", Trump wrote on Twitter.
Gen. Dunford said one target in the strike was a scientific research center located in the greater Damascus area - a center for research, development and testing of "chemical and biological warfare technology". President Barack Obama said the use of chemical weapons was his "red line", but he did not intervene despite a reported chemical weapon attack in 2013.
French President Emmanuel Macron said a decision would be made "in the coming days", and that any airstrikes would target the Syrian government's chemical facilities.
"Our relationship with Russian Federation is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War", Trump said in a tweet.
The air campaign could frustrate those in Trump's base who oppose military intervention and are wary of open-ended conflicts.
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Retired Lt. Gen. Yevgeny Buzhinsky, the former chief of the Russian Defense Ministry's global department, warned that Russia has thousands of military advisers in Syria "practically in every battalion", and a strike on any Syrian facility could jeopardize their lives.
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