(National Sentinel) World War III: President Donald J. Trump has told Russia that American missiles are coming “fast and smart” in retaliation for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own people last week, as Russia threatened a military response of its own against U.S. forces.
Trump urged Russia to “get ready” in a morning tweet, while Russia’s ambassador to Lebanon suggested Moscow would move to shoot down incoming U.S. missiles and retaliate in support of its Syrian client state.
Russia has a naval base in Tartus, along Syria’s Mediterranean Sea coastline, as well as military personnel and troops inside the country.
Trump sent his tweet after comments from senior Russian officials that President Vladimir Putin would order his forces to strike American positions in the region, The Sun reported.
“Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at 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!” Trump tweeted.
Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2018
A Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman responded, “Smart missiles should fly towards terrorists, not legal government.”
Alexander Zasypkin, the Russian ambassador to Lebanon, said his president would destroy American missiles if Washington carried out a retaliatory strike.
“If there is a strike by the Americans then … the missiles will be downed and even the sources from which the missiles were fired,” he told Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV.
Yevgeny Serebrennikov, deputy chairman of Moscow’s Defence Committee, added that Russia would respond “immediately” to any U.S. attack on Russian troops.
In an interview with Sputnik, he said: “As the Defense Ministry has already pointed out, the Russian military bases in Hmeymim and Tartus are under firm protection.
“At the same time, we expect that in the event of U.S. strikes, if any, the lives of our servicemen will not be in danger,” Serebrennikov added further. “I think that the United States understands this and will not allow it, because otherwise, Russia’s response will be immediate, as the chief of the Russian General Staff has said.”
As the UK Mirror reported, the Russian military said in March it would respond to any U.S. strike against Syria by targeting incoming missiles and their launch sites.
The news site also reported that Russia has released a video showing off its missile and air defense capabilities, both of which are deployed in Syria.
The escalation in tension and rhetoric follows an attack against U.S. troops and their Syrian rebel allies by opposing forces including hundreds of Russian mercenaries in February, an attack that intelligence experts said had to have been ordered by Putin.
“The core of the attacking force came from the Wagner Group, Russia’s version of the American thugs who worked for the company formerly known as Blackwater,” former U.S. Army intelligence officer Ralph Peters wrote in the New York Post.
“But while the media refers to the Russians as mercenaries, the Wagner Group functions as an auxiliary of the Russian military — it previously gave command performances in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. It exists to give Moscow (barely) plausible deniability.
Officially the Russian government downplayed the attack.