Just a day after revealing that the Trump administration would make a final decision about how to proceed in Syria, President Trump took to Twitter with an announcement that seems to highlight further action instead of withdrawing from the tumultuous country. His response is both retaliation against Russia, who claims they will interfere, and an attempt to root out terrorists who continue to plague Syria.
• “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!’,” he wrote in the Tweet. “You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”
• The President’s firm message is a total flip from last week, when Trump was considering the possibility of pulling out of Syria altogether. This significant change of heart came in response to yet another chemical attack in Syria. Local terrorist groups have taken responsibility for the attack.
• The gas attack claimed a significant number of casualties. As of Wednesday night, experts were estimating the death toll at 40 people. Casualties were largely civilian in nature, though it isn’t clear how many were men, women, or children specifically.
• Russia claims to have concerns about destabilization. Russian Foreign Ministry representative Maria Zakharova, who has been handling much of the country’s social media responses, responded. “Smart missiles should fly toward terrorists, not the legal government that has been fighting international terrorism for several years on its territory.”
• Despite seeming like a clear indication of increased action in the United States, the administration has not confirmed the POTUS’s announcement. Sarah Huckabee-Sanders explained that missile strikes were “…certainly one option,” but was quick to warn the press to be cautious about making assumptions based on a single tweet. “…that doesn’t mean it’s the only option or the only thing that the President may or may not do,” she said.
• We continue to monitor this situation as it unfolds, including whether or not the administration will confirm Trump’s clear desire to send missiles into Syria. No official decision has yet been made; check back here for more information in the coming days.