US, Russia trade rhetoric, edge toward showdown over Syria

Airlines warned of possible missile launches into Syria

Earlier, President Donald Trump warned Russian Federation about supporting Bashar al Assad in Syria, and said USA missiles "will be coming" in relatiation for a chemical weapons attack on civilians.

Several countries led by the USA are weighing military strikes in response to the Assad regime's chemical attack that killed dozens of people and affected 500 others in the Syrian town of Douma, in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta.

In a Twitter screed directed at Russia, President Trump indicated that USA missile attacks against Syria "will be coming, " and admonishing Russia to "get ready" if they think they can shoot the missiles down. In his tweet at the Russians, Trump told them, "you shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!"

A pinpoint USA strike on Syrian targets that does not harm Russian personnel "will allow Trump to say that the Assad regime has paid a heavy price. and Russia in its turn will be able to limit itself to ringing statements", said Fyodor Lukyanov, the head of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policies, an association of top Russian political and security experts.

"It's a disgraceful situation", Trump told reporters before a meeting of military officials at the White House on Monday night.

Worldwide officials, meanwhile, worked Monday reviewing claims by Syrian opposition leaders that Assad's government was behind a poison gas attack that killed at least 40 people in a rebel-held town near Damascus.

President Donald Trump on Thursday put off a final decision on possible military strikes against Syria after tweeting earlier that they could happen "very soon or not so soon at all".

White House officials did not reply to a request for more detail on Trump's remarks.

The US president, whose military would nearly certainly provide most of the intelligence and weaponry, has called for withdrawing US forces globally but also for hitting enemies hard. "But our efforts have been repeatedly thwarted" by Syria and Russian Federation, she said. The US took care to avoid Russian targets during an air strike in April 2017. There is a heightened "danger of escalation" because of the Russian military presence in Syria, Nebenzia said after a private meeting of the UN Security Council in NY.

"While it's a welcome move, that doesn't mean Assad will not continue to kill Syrians by using other illegal weapons, such as napalm, cluster bombs and white phosphorus", Khairullah said. Although Trump's tweet was characterized by typically bellicose rhetoric, it raises serious questions of how the United States will react if Russian Federation does in fact seek to intercept its missiles. Parly said the French military used missile-equipped frigates in the Mediterranean for the strike, which she said targeted a "main research center" for chemical weapons and "two important production sites". Clearly-and tragically- it also failed to deter the Assad regime from using chemical weapons again, given the attacks last weekend in Douma. "We are rapidly reaching that understanding", she said.

Trump has long expressed opposition to "telegraphing" U.S. military moves.

Asked specifically about the prospect of military action, Trump said: "Nothing's off the table".

"Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria".

"The context of the relations has changed radically in the past year: We're in a state of a real and tangible Cold War", Lukyanov said.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who has been coordinating closely with Washington, said he would decide on a response "in the coming days". Since that did not work, a more intense attack would aim to degrade his ability to carry out further such attacks, and would try to do this by hitting Syrian aircraft, military depots and chemical facilities, among other things. But the response made some sense and Trump may not have been entirely insincere in giving it.

Russian Federation has warned against military action and said it will shoot down rockets fired at its ally.