Russia has warned it could shoot down any US missiles aimed at Syria
US President Donald Trump has warned Russia to “get ready” for a missile strike in Syria in response to the alleged chemical weapons attack in the country four days ago.
Separate UN proposals for investigations into the use of chemical weapons in the attack put forward by the US and Russia have been blocked – with no end in sight to the war of words between the superpowers.
The French President Emmanuel Macron has also pledged to consult his country’s allies – particularly the US and UK – in an effort to decide upon a joint response to the attack.
Today the Kremlin said it would respond to any US strike in Syria adding that it hoped all sides would avoid any steps that “could significantly destabilise an already fragile situation in the region.”
The country’s ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin has warned that Russia could shoot down any US missiles fired at Syria.
He went on to warn that Russia could target the “sources from which the missiles were fired” - which could include US warships, submarines and aircraft.
In a pair of tweets this afternoon, President Trump warned Russia to “get ready” for US missiles to land in Syria, adding because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart.”
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!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2018
He claimed US relations with Russia are now worse than ever before, including during the Cold War.
“There is no reason for this,” he wrote.
“Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do, and we need all nations to work together.
“Stop the arms race?”
Our relationship with Russia is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War. There is no reason for this. Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do, and we need all nations to work together. Stop the arms race?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2018
Moscow and the Syrian regime deny any involvement in the gas attack that took the lives of 70 people in the rebel-held town of Douma.
Medical groups have said a further 500 people were injured in the attack.
The Syrian American Medical Society described patients foaming at the mouth and warned that victims had suffered corneal burns and smelled of a "chlorine-like odour."
There has been no independent verification of the claims - made by the White Helmets rescue service and other medical groups - as international groups have been unable to enter the enclave as yet.
Another Video showing cases of suffocation among civilians, mostly children and women, following the chemical attack against the civilians in #Douma city. #AssadHitsDoumaWithChemicals pic.twitter.com/ItEpVLq5zM— The White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) April 8, 2018
Meanwhile, Europe's air traffic controllers have issued a "rapid alert" for airlines in the Eastern Mediterranean over the possibility of missile strikes on Syria.
Eurocontrol is warning airlines to exercise caution due to the possible launch of air-to-ground and cruise missiles “within the next 72 hours.”
The global chemical weapons watchdog has confirmed it will travel to Douma on a fact finding mission to investigate the reports of a chemical attack.