US President Donald Trump has issued a fierce warning to Russia over claims they would shoot down US missiles fired at Syria.
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!" Trump's tweet escalates tensions to new level amid talks about an imminent strike by US forces on Syria.
US warplanes were reportedly spotted flying over Syria last night, and destroyer USS Donald Cook is operating in the Mediterranean. Britain and France are being called upon by the US to join any military action against Syria. Trump decided to strike Syria in 2017, launching a blitz of 59 missiles over a fabricated chemical attack.
According to the New York Times, Trump appeared to be reacting to reports on Tuesday that the Russian ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander Zasypkin, warned the United States and its allies that any missiles fired at Syria would be shot down. He made those comments in an interview with Al Manar Television.
Trump lamented that relations between the two countries were worse than during the Cold War, a decades-long geopolitical and ideological rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union when both were armed for, and prepared for, nuclear war.
In 2013, there were alleged accusations that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons to launch attacks against civilians. However, all the research conducted on the ground proved that to be false allegations.
Meanwhile, senior advisor to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Ali Akbar Velayati said that the "very important" achievements made by the Syrian army and its allies in the campaign against militants in the Eastern Ghouta have irked Syria's enemies.
Such victories made the US and the "Israeli" regime hatch an "evil plot" and falsely accuse the Syrian government of conducting a chemical attack near the Syrian capital, Velayati said.