As President Donald Trump ramped up his threats of military action against Syria this week, the Syrian military has been repositioning some air assets to avoid the fallout from possible missile strikes, USA officials told Reuters on Wednesday.
In the past, Trump has condemned others for forecasting military plans, repeatedly blistering President Barack Obama during the 2016 campaign.
With punitive United States military action seemingly imminent, Russian Federation scrambled to deflect blame from its ally Bashar al-Assad and, according to a monitor group, Syrian forces evacuated key defense buildings in Damascus. Rescuers say more than 40 people were killed in Saturday's alleged toxic gas attack. Trump wrote, in one of his most direct criticisms of Moscow.
Later on Wednesday morning, Trump clarified his assessment of the poor relations with Russian Federation in another tweet, blaming the decline in Washington-Moscow ties on the ongoing investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.
"The state of the world can not but provoke concern", he said. We are totally predictable.
She also said the strikes could destroy evidence needed to determine if chemical weapons were used in Saturday's attack.
But the Russian army continued to deny their side's latest victory came after Assad launched a chemical attack on the last rebel-held pocket of the enclave in the Damascus suburbs, instead accusing the White Helmets civil defense organization of staging the massacre.
May declined to say if she was concerned by Trump's tweet, reiterating that Britain was working with allies to work out exactly what had happened. Virtually all US missiles now have advanced guidance systems.
The tweet followed Russia's warning that it will strike at incoming US missiles and their launch platforms. This is in contrast to an incident one year ago in which US intelligence agencies had video and other evidence of certain aspects of the actual attack, which involved the use of sarin gas.
If that softer option doesn't work, the Russian military could use an array of its state-of-the-art air defense assets in Syria to target the USA cruise missiles or drones. A US Navy guided-missile destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, is in the Mediterranean. That position was beyond the range of Syrian air defenses, but within range of potential Russian defenses.
Would U.S. allies join in the fight?
One way to ensure Assad can not use such weapons is to conduct strikes on his chemical infrastructure, including by targeting factories and weapons holding areas.
"We should all be outraged at these horrific reports and images from Douma", said Peter Salama, the United Nations agency's chief of emergency response.
He described the situation in Syria as "rather tense" but declined to specify how Moscow would respond to a USA airstrike against its ally Assad. "Let them go through with it or shut up", said a participant in an online poll asking if Syrians were afraid of a USA attack.
Earlier, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier said in televised remarks that "we don't participate in Twitter diplomacy", adding that "it's important not to make any steps that could further destabilize the already fragile situation".
Military police would be sent to Douma from Thursday to keep the peace, he said. He continued to dispute US claims that a chemical attack took place in the town.
But in a sign of his growing impatience for action, Mr Trump tweeted a warning that air strikes were imminent, saying the missiles "will be coming".