Trump backs off tweet warning Russia of 'coming' Syria strike

British Prime Minister Theresa May has convened a Cabinet meeting for Thursday "to discuss the response to Syria", though it's unclear if she'll seek approval for a strike.

Trump appeared to be responding to comments from Alexander Zasypkin, the Russian ambassador to Lebanon, who told the Hezbollah-run al-Manar TV station: "If there is a strike by the Americans then. the missiles will be downed and even the sources from which the missiles were fired".

A day after warning Russia in a tweet that "missiles will be coming" to Syria, President Trump said on Twitter that an airstrike was not necessarily imminent. From Russia's dismemberment of Ukraine, Europe's geographically largest nation, to China's attempt to impose its will in the South China Sea, the most strategically important portion of the world's seas that for seven decades have been kept open and orderly by the U.S. Navy.

"Get ready Russia", the president said.

In the meantime members of the chemical weapons watchdog the OPCW are preparing to visit the site of the suspected attack to determine if chemicals were used but not to assign blame.

The World Health Organization said about 500 patients showed signs of exposure to toxic chemicals after the Douma attack.

"Never said when an attack on Syria would take place", Trump tweeted early Thursday.

One way to ensure Al Assad cannot use such weapons is to conduct strikes on his chemical infrastructure, including by targeting factories and weapons holding areas. "And now I am displaced today with its people, closing a page on this town that was so inspirational, with its once peaceful activism and its diversity, with its bad and its good". France is already involved in the U.S. -led coalition created in 2014 to fight the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

"People say Trump is insane and he would like to carry out his threats", the woman said.

Moscow is estimated to have dozens of aircraft at its Hmeymim air base in Syria including fighters and bombers, as well as 10 to 15 warships and support vessels in the Mediterranean. The government, however, said evacuations from Douma were ongoing and no Syrian government forces had entered the town.

Parliament refused U.K. participation in a planned punitive raid on Syria in 2013, one of the reasons then-U.S. President Barack Obama called off the raid and left the French high and dry.

Amid the unprecedented tension between the two former Cold War adversaries, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Syrian government evacuated forces from a number of air bases around the country.

"We are continuing to assess intelligence and are engaged in conversations with our partners and allies", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Thursday afternoon. Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do, and we need all nations to work together.

Eastern Ghouta had been the biggest rebel stronghold near Damascus, but insurgent groups there surrendered after a series of ferocious government assaults aided by Russia following a massive bombardment.

A Syrian military officer on the edge of eastern Ghouta said the evacuation of rebels from Douma was supposed to end on Thursday.

The USS Donald Cook, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, is within easy striking range of Syria, as is a French frigate with its own cruise missiles. According to the U.N. envoy for Syria, an estimated 400,000 Syrians have been killed since 2011. In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS.

The Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Assad's government had been asked to make necessary arrangements for an OPCW investigation team to visit shortly.

  • Leon Brazil