Donald Trump Issues Direct Threat to Russia

Donald Trump has now confirmed that the US will be conducting missile strikes on Syria. Based on the phrasing of his statement, it appears that the US may target Russian material and human assets in the Syrian Arab Republic, an act that Russian officials have promised, would trigger an immediate Russian response.

If Trump actually means what he said and with a volatile person such as the current US leader, it is difficult to tell, it would more or less indicate that the US is willing to run the risk of direct conflict with Russia for the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis, where ultimately confrontation was averted after an eleventh hour deal between the US and USSR.

Trump stated,

“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!”

Russia has in fact gone out of its way to say that while Moscow condemns any and all illegal military action against the Syrian Arab Republic, Russia will only respond if Russian (rather than Syrian, Iranian etc.) assets are targeted. In this sense, Trump has just brought the threat of war directly to Russia, thus escalating the conflict beyond all reasonable expectations.

Minutes after threatening Russia, Trump Tweeted the following regarding Russia.

Clearly, in addition to threatening Russia, Trump is conducting a kind of geopolitical game of psychological warfare that ultimately will not work as Russia’s position has always been clear on the matter of when and where it would not retaliate against a US strike on Syria. Russia’s position can be summarised as follows: Russia will condemn any strike on Syria but only respond if Russian assets are targeted. This is unlikely to change under the current Russian leadership in spite of elements of the opposition arguing for a tougher line against US crimes against humanity.

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