Fri | Dec 14, 2018

Trump says 'missiles coming' against Syria, 'new and smart'

Published:Thursday | April 12, 2018 | 12:00 AM
President Donald Trump


Defying Russian warnings against US military strikes in Syria, President Donald Trump said Wednesday that missiles "will be coming" in response to Syria's suspected chemical attack that killed at least 40 people.

"Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria," Trump tweeted. "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!"

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, however, indicated that evidence of what happened in Saturday's suspected attack near Damascus is still being studied. At a photo-taking session during a meeting with his Dutch counterpart, Mattis was asked by a reporter whether he had seen enough evidence to blame the Syrian government.

"We're still assessing the intelligence, ourselves and our allies," Mattis said. "We're still working on this."

Asked whether the US military was ready to conduct an attack in Syria if ordered, Mattis replied, "We stand ready to provide military options if they're appropriate, as the president determines."

Trump did not detail what a strike would look like or whether these would be US missiles. US officials have been consulting with global allies on a possible joint military response to Syria's alleged poison gas attack. Trump canceled a foreign trip in order to manage a crisis that is testing his vow to stand up to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Syria's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that his threats are "reckless" and endanger international peace and security.