Trump tells Russia it “shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it.”
Iran has stirred the pot even more with Israel by threatening the Jewish state after an airstrike on Monday killed several Iranian military personnel at an air base near Homs, Syria.
Reuters reported that Israel faces even more security concerns over the possibility of US airstrikes in Syria after President Donald Trump threatened Russia over its support of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
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
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?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2018
Reports have emerged that Trump’s words forced Syrian military to move themselves to Russian bases. From i24:
The Syrian military is said to be evacuating its bases near the Lebanon border and transporting its personnel to Russian army sites amid growing concern over an imminent US strike, an expected reprisal for the alleged chemical attack carried out by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday.
Reports in a French newspaper Le Figaro stated that Assad put his forces “on alert” for the next three days as the regime army began on Monday, to evacuate its major air bases thought to be possible targets for a US attack.
“According to a UN source, Syrian military planes were also transferred to the Russian Khmeimim air base, near Latakia, on the Mediterranean coast, in Assad’s stronghold,” Le Figaro wrote.
Someone from a Syrian regime unit explained that the army started to take “precautionary measures,” mainly at the “airports and military bases.” But will it work? From The New York Times:
Pentagon officials said that even if Syrian warplanes manage to elude an American-led strike campaign, the United States and its allies can still seek to so damage Syrian airfields — across the country — that it would hamper Mr. Assad’s ability to use them to launch future chemical weapons attacks.
That kind of damage, though, would require a sustained campaign — likely over a number of days. It was unclear whether the United States, France and other allies involved have made a decision to extend a bombing campaign beyond one night.
Iran’s state media IRNA reported that Aleksandr Lavrentiev, a special envoy from Russia, arrived in Tehran “to discuss the strike and ‘threats of military interference in Syria by the United States.'”
Lavrentiev, also Russia’s ambassador to Lebanon, said that any missiles from the US “would be shot down.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif brushed off Trump’s threats and called it a cheap shot:
Trump’s cheap shot against Iran, which has consistently condemned use of chemical weapons by anyone & is itself the victim of their use by Saddam with US support, is hypocritical. His threats to repeat impulsive acts of aggression is symptomatic of US policy helping extremists.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) April 10, 2018
But behind all of this is Israel and Iran. NBC News reported that two officials told the outlet that our government confirmed Israel did the airstrike early Monday morning in Syria only hours after a deadly chemical attack near Douma.
The airstrikes killed 14 people, including seven Iranians so Iran has threatened Israel. But the possibility of American airstrikes has grown Israel’s security concerns. From Reuters:
Israel held top-level security consultations on Wednesday amid concern it could be targeted by Syria or Iran if the United States strikes Syrian government forces over an alleged poison gas assault.
A member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet and Israeli strategic affairs experts voiced doubt that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, embroiled in a protracted civil war, would risk direct conflict with Israel.
But they said Israel – which has the region’s most powerful military – was taking seriously an Iranian threat to respond to a strike on Monday on an airbase on Syria which Damascus, Tehran and Moscow have blamed on Israel.
Zeev Elkin, who sits on the security forum, said that it’s “theoretically” possible that a US strike will cause Iran go strike Israel, but more than likely the retaliation will come Iran. Reuters continued:
Yaakov Amidror, a former Israeli national security adviser, said Iran has “an open issue with us” over the air base strike.
The same facility was targeted by Israel in an air strike in Syria in February after an Iranian drone was shot down inside Israeli territory.
Amidror told reporters a U.S. strike in Syria could be used by Iran as a smokescreen “to do something against Israel”.
“They have their long arm of Hezbollah, which is controlled by the Iranians,” he said. “They have militias in Syria and in Lebanon which they control and they have Iranian military forces in Syria that can be used.”
Amos Yadlin, a former Israeli military intelligence chief, wrote on Twitter that “the Iranians will probably respond to the strike attributed to Israel, even if not immediately”.
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