On Friday, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. military, in coordination with France and the United Kingdom, is striking Syria for its alledged use of chemical weapons.
“I ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapon capabilities of Syrian dictator of Bashar al-Assad,” Trump said.
Trump announced that the United States is partnering with France and the U.K. in the strikes, which he said are meant to “establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons.”
“The combined American, British and French response to these atrocities will integrate all instruments of our national power: military, economic and diplomatic,” Trump continued. “We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents.”
“To Iran and to Russia, I ask: What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?” Trump said. “Hopefully someday we will get along with Russia, and maybe even Iran. But maybe not.”
Russia has warned of “consequences” for the US-led military strikes on its ally Syria.
“A pre-designed scenario is being implemented,” Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said on Twitter. “Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences.”
He added: “Insulting the President of Russia is unacceptable and inadmissible. The US – the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons – has no moral right to blame other countries.”
Since it entered the Syrian war on the side of Bashar al-Assad, the Russian leader has been crucial to the survival of Syria’s president. Barely two years ago, it seemed that Mr Assad’s survival was under threat, as his forces were stretched thin by ISIS-linked rebels.
Russia’s provision of troops and air support, has meant Mr Assad’s forces have been able to regain control of large swathes of the country, undermining the energy of jihadists who believed he was on the way out.