Trump in Trouble Now: Russian Cossacks Strip Pres of 'Honorary Cossack' Title

Trump Tweets: 'They Will be Coming, Nice and New and Smart', US Warns Russia

West weighs Syria raid, risks Russia clash

President Donald Trump warned Russia Wednesday to "get ready" for a missile attack on its ally Syria.

Erdogan says Turkey's warming ties with Russian Federation and Iran are "not an alternative" to its traditional ties to the West, adding that Ankara would "fight until the end" against Russia's support for Syrian President Bashar Assad and against US support to a Syrian Kurdish militia that Ankara has labelled a terrorist group. Russian Federation threatened to shoot down any USA missiles launched at targets in Syria.

The United States has blamed the Syrian government for a deadly chemical weapons attack this month and slammed Russian Federation for failing to stop its ally, President Bashar al-Assad, as Western allies considered military strikes on Syria.

"Get ready Russian Federation, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!' " Trump tweeted Wednesday, referring to USA missiles.

French President Emmanuel Macron gave the strongest indication yet that France is ready to join the United States in striking Syria, saying that France has "proof" that some form of chemical attack occurred.

Looming over the military planning are questions about how effective a punitive strike - no matter how broad - will be in deterring Assad from resuming chemical attacks.

"We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents", President Trump said in announcing the strikes from the White House. And the three allies are considering a joint military strike in retaliation.

Mattis said he personally believes Syria is guilty of an "inexcusable" use of chemical weapons, while noting that the global fact-finding team would likely fall short of determining who was responsible. The NATO alliance gave its full backing; NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in Brussels that the attack was about ensuring that chemical weapons can not be used with impunity.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry has denied the accusation, calling rebels' claims "premeditated pretexts".

The inconsistent responses from outside powers may have signaled to Assad that he can continue to use the munitions, so long as he uses them in small amounts without causing mass casualties or generating gruesome imagery. Two health facilities were also reportedly affected by the attacks.

"When the 2016 presidential elections took place, the Duma celebrated Trump's election with champagne, and Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin congratulated him; against the background of this euphoria, we made him an honorary member of the Cossack society", Ibris chairman Andrei Polyakov said, speaking to Russia's Rosbalt portal.

Syrian government troops have gained full control of the Douma enclave, the last militant stronghold in Eastern Ghouta, 10km from Damascus, the Russian Defense Ministry says.

Russian Federation has several dozen warplanes at Hemeimeem air base in Syria, along with an array of state-of-the-art air defense missile systems and the Bastion missile systems protecting the coast. Their reach was demonstrated in February when an Israeli F-16 fighter jet crashed amid Syrian antiaircraft fire. France is already involved in the US -led coalition created in 2014 to fight the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

His choice of words recalled a similar claim associated with President George W. Bush following the US -led invasion of Iraq.

The S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile system provided by Russian Federation is the most advanced element of an air defense arrangement that also includes older S-300 systems and shorter-range SA-21 and SA-22.

Some reports surfaced on Wednesday that military hardware was being moved from Syrian bases. The Assad government has at least 15 air bases in Syria.

Russia's lower house of parliament is to consider draft legislation that would give the Kremlin powers to ban or restrict a list of US imports, reacting to new USA sanctions on a group of Russian tycoons and officials.

The air defense from the ground responded to the air strikes with anti-aircraft weapons, and over 20 missiles were intercepted.

The Kremlin itself has not said if it backs the draft legislation - which would allow the government to impose the measures should the need arise - and it was not clear if would it become law in its current form. More broadly, he doubted the wisdom of bombing.

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