In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Donald Trump has probably launched, of what experts say, World War III. He tweeted, “Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired to 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!”
These tweets are in response to the apparent chemical weapons attack that happened over the weekend that killed around 40 people. However, President Assad denies allegations that the government is the one behind the incident and accuses rebels of making up stories to get international support. OPCW has already sent a team to investigate the incident but Russian specialists that visited the location said there was no evidence of such.
Although President Putin is not on social media, Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said on Facebook, “Smart missiles must strike terrorists, not the legitimate government that has been fighting international terrorism on its territory for several years.” Also, Putin’s spokesman said in a statement, “We do not participate in Twitter diplomacy. We support serious approaches. We continue to believe that it is important not to take steps that could harm an already fragile situation.”
A political expert says that the US attack may happen anytime soon, possibly Thursday, but the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, “Final decisions haven’t been made.” Trump also said in a tweet on Thursday that he, “Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all!”
But if these attacks would really happen, Russia’s representative in the European Union said that there will be “serious consequences” if their citizens will be hurt on the attack, whether it is accidental or not. The United States’ military force and their weapons may be advanced but some say that Russia has undeclared nuclear weapons that they could use against the United States if ever the attacks will really happen.
Some political analysts also say that, like the air strike on Syria last year, another attack is not going to shake President Assad. He will still have the Russian and the Iranian government to back him up.
Russia and US Allies Preparing
There have been reports this morning that it looks like that both parties are already preparing. Syrian forces were seen relocating their troupes and equipment in different military bases in preparation for the attack. Concurrently, a Russian newsgroup reported that the Russian navy is conducting military exercises near the Syrian seas.
There were also satellite images released by ImageSat International in Twitter showing that the Russians have moved their warships from their naval base in Tartus. In addition, there were reports that the Russian government will be in constant contact with the Pentagon for the coordinates of the targets to avoid accidental attacks to the Russian forces in Syria.
British Prime Minister, Theresa May, called for an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss what steps they would take following the attack last weekend. And since the Parliament is on break, the Prime Minister may act without their vote and has already ordered the military to move their submarines to the coast of Syria from the Mediterranean. She said that the recent attack is “shocking, barbaric act” and she was “appalled but not surprised.”
However, labor leader Jeremy Corbyn said in an interview with BBC that while there is a need for an urgent response, the nations need to follow what the United Nations will say. The United Nations has already called for a closed-door meeting to talk about the consequences of any military action against Syria.
According to an official, the US, Britain, and France are in the talks on military plans against Syria. As to what are those, there is no specific information but it will be announced in the coming days. Aside from the aforementioned nations, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Qatar called to take actions against the Syrian government.
China, on the other hand, urges nations to use a “political solution” to resolve the crisis in Syria. Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang said in a press briefing that a “comprehensive, impartial and objective investigation” should be done first before resorting to military attacks. He also added that “military means will lead us nowhere.”
Aside from Russia, China has been a strong ally of the Syrian government since 2011. Although China has no significant military presence in Syria, the country has been investing in the reconstruction of the civil war-stricken country.