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Trump says relations with Russia worse than Cold War era, vows to continue air-strikes on Syria

Trump's remarks came after Russian warning suggesting that Moscow would view an airstrike on Syria as a war crime. 

Edited by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Published on: April 11, 2018 17:17 IST ]
 Russia warns the US against missile-attacks on Syria,
Image Source : PTI

 Russia warns the US against missile-attacks on Syria, Trump says 'they will be coming'

United States Donald Trump on Wednesday warned Russia that the United States will continue fire missiles at Syria. The United States president said that the relations between the global powers were worse than Cold War era at the moment.

"Our relationship with Russia is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War. There is no reason for this. Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do, and we need all nations to work together. Stop the arms race?," he tweeted.

Trump's remarks came after Russian warning suggesting that Moscow would view an airstrike on Syria as a war crime. 

Earlier on Tuesday, Russia’s ambassador to Lebanon had said that any missiles fired at Syria would be shot down and the launching sites targeted — a stark warning of a potential major confrontation in Syria.

Also read | Donald Trump cancels Latin America trip to focus on Syria

In response, the US president said the missiles 'will be coming'. 

"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 on Wednesday.

Russian lawmaker had said that if US continued the attacks on Syria it could trigger a direct military clash between the two former Cold War adversaries.

The war of words between two nuclear powers began after US President Donald Trump threatened military action after last weekend’s suspected chemical attack on a rebel-held town near Damascus, which activists and rescuers say killed at least 40 people. The Syrian government and its ally Russia deny that such an attack happened.

Asked about Moscow’s reaction to a possible US strike on Syria, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia still hopes that all parties in the conflict will refrain from taking “steps that could gravely destabilise the fragile situation in the region.”

Also read | Chemical weapons watchdog to send inspectors to Syria's Ghouta

State news agency RIA Novosti on Wednesday quoted Andrei Krasov, deputy chairman of the State Duma’s defence committee, as saying that Russia will treat a US airstrike on Syria “not just as an act of aggression but a war crime of the Western coalition.”

Vladimir Shamanov, a retired general who heads the defence affairs committee in the lower house of parliament, said in televised remarks Tuesday that a US strike in Syria could hurt Russian servicemen and trigger retaliation.

He said that Russia has “the necessary means for that, and the Americans and their allies know that quite well.”

Shamanov emphasized that a retaliatory Russian strike could target US navy ships and aircraft. He added that the use of nuclear weapons is “unlikely.”

Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin, meanwhile, told Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV station that any missiles fired at Syria would be shot down. He said he was referring to a statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian armed forces chief of staff.

“If there is a strike by the Americans, then... the missiles will be downed and the source of the missiles targeted,” Zasypkin said.

Meanwhile, European airspace authorities warned aircraft to be careful over the coming days when flying close to Syria because of possible military action against President Bashar Assad’s forces.

The Eurocontrol airspace organization said that the European Aviation Safety Agency had sent a “Rapid Alert Notification” that flight operators needed to consider the possibility of air or missile strikes into Syria.

U.S. officials have consulted with global allies on a possible joint military response to Syria’s alleged poison gas attack.

In a notice posted to Eurocontrol’s website, EASA said: “Due to the possible launch of air strikes into Syria with air-to-ground and/or cruise missiles within the next 72 hours, and the possibility of intermittent disruption of radio navigation equipment, due consideration needs to be taken.”

(With inputs AP)

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