Russian Federation warns of war over Syria strikes

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May at the Polish Social and Cultural Association in west London on 29 March 2018

Defense Secretary James Mattis said Wednesday the United States is "still assessing the intelligence" on whether the Assad regime is to blame for the recent suspected chemical attack but added that the U.S. stands ready for military strikes in Syria.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Vice President Mike Pence chaired the meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Assad "likely calculated that the United States would not respond if they escalated now", said Jennifer Cafarella of the Institute for the Study of War, "after President Donald Trump signaled his ultimate desire to withdraw from Syria".

"We haven't laid out any specific actions we plan to take", she added.

Trump tweeted "Mission Accomplished" on Saturday after U.S., French and British warplanes and ships launched more than 100 missiles almost unopposed by Syrian air defenses.

Trump has slammed Russian Federation for its partnership with "Gas Killing Animal" Assad, spurring concerns that a USA strike could lead to a conflagration with Russian Federation, which has major military facilities at Tartus and Khmeimim and works cheek-by-jowl with Syria forces that could be targeted.

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

On Feb. 24, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2401 which called for a month-long cease-fire in Syria, especially in Eastern Ghouta to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid. The NATO alliance gave its full backing; NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the attack was about ensuring that chemical weapons can not be used with impunity. According to the United Nations envoy for Syria, an estimated 400,000 Syrians have been killed since 2011.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also said Wednesday all parties involved in Syria should refrain from actions that could destabilize the region.

"Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria". The regime has been accused of using chemical weapons against civilians, most recently in the attack on Douma that killed at least 42 people.

But Ghias Moussa, who heads the New Jersey and NY chapters of the Syrian American Forum, a group opposed to US intervention, said the United States should stop trying to push for regime change.

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Trump justly portrays Obama's failure to uphold his "red line" as the root of much of the evil in Syria today (although at the time, Trump said we shouldn't retaliate against Syria - we should "stay the hell out", he opined).

Any military move against Syrian government forces carries numerous risks.

That attack involved 59 Tomahawk missiles fired from two USA warships in the Mediterranean Sea.

He added, however, that the USA would be unlikely to warn Russian Federation of the coming strike this time. However, there was a growing row over whether MPs needed to give the green light for military action.

A year ago Trump ordered a US missile strike on the regime's Shayrat airfield in response to a chemical attack that killed 80 people in Khan Sheikhoun in the northwestern province of Idlib.

The Prime Minister called senior ministers to gather in Downing Street on Thursday after declaring "all the indications" were that the regime was responsible for a chemical strike on its own people last weekend.

The president's tweet followed a Russian diplomat's warning that Russia would shoot down any American missiles directed toward Syria.

"The situation in the world is becoming more and more chaotic but all the same we hope that common sense will finally prevail and worldwide relations will take a constructive path", he said.

Speaking during a visit to Birmingham on Wednesday, Mrs May again said the use of chemical weapons by the regime "cannot go unchallenged" as she reaffirmed her intention to continue working with the UK's "closest allies".

McKenzie said 105 U.S. and allied missiles were fired, of which 66 were Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from aboard three U.S. Navy ships and one Navy submarine.

The Syrian government and Russian Federation vehemently deny involvement and accuse rebel groups of fabricating the attack to hinder the army's advances and provoke global military intervention.

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