The war of words between the U.S. and Russia over Syria’s use of chemical weapons against its own people has escalated. The United States and allies struck Syria Friday night and Russia has promised that the attack will come with consequences.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced the military action from the White House late on Friday. As he spoke, explosions rocked Damascus. British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron said the UK and France had joined in the attack.
— Department of State (@StateDept) April 14, 2018
“Tonight, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States took decisive action to strike the Syrian chemical weapons infrastructure… Together, we have sent a clear message to Assad and his murderous lieutenants that they should not perpetrate another chemical weapons attack,” Sec. James Mattis said at a press conference Friday night.
The allies reportedly had conclusive evidence that Syria used chemical weapons on its own people.
“A large volume of high-resolution, reliable photos and video from Duma clearly document victims suffering from asphyxiation and foaming at the mouth, with no visible signs of external wounds,” the White House said in a statement Friday. “Reliable intelligence indicates that Syrian military officials coordinated what appears to be the use of chlorine in Duma on April 7.”
The Trump administration did not lay the blame only at the feet of Syria’s leader. They also pointed to the Russian Federation for its lack of willingness to curb Assad’s bloodlust.
“Due to its inability – or refusal to curb Assad’s crimes, Russia must assume responsibility for his behavior,” they said.
Russia answered with threats of its own.
“We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences,” said Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador to the U.S. “All responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris.”