President Donald Trump warned Wednesday that American airstrikes on Syria, in retaliation for a deadly chemical attack, were imminent.
Trump directed a morning tweet at Russia, the Syrian government’s primary ally in the years-long civil war Assad has waged against rebel groups. The Kremlin has warned the U.S. it planned to shoot down any U.S. missiles headed for Syria.
“Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’” Trump tweeted. “You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”
Syrian government forces and their allies were leaving military bases and posts in Assad-held areas across the country amid fears of a U.S. strike in the aftermath of a chemical attack in which Assad warplanes bombed civilian neighbourhoods of Douma city with poisonous gas.
President Trump said Monday that he’d respond within 48 hours, though his administration has yet to formally announce any strikes. Trump did, however, speak with French President Emmanuel Macron and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday about a possible coordinated response, according to the White House.