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President Trump says 'missiles coming' against Syria, 'new and smart'

Trump warns Russia to

Reacting to Trump's harsh tweets, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova struck back, saying that smart missiles must strike terrorists, but not the legitimate government "that has been fighting global terrorism on its territory for several years".

They also congratulated the Syrian people, army and leadership on the great victories that were achieved, stressing that the final victory in the face of the terrorist war is imminent and that Syria will remain the home of moderate Islam in the face of extremist thought.

May's remarks were the strongest hint yet that the government was considering joining US-led action in response to the chemical weapons attack.

Trump said Wednesday that missiles "will be coming" in response to Syria's suspected chemical attack, adding "Get ready Russian Federation, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'" Gen. Valery Gerasimov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces, has said the military would hit back if USA airstrikes endangered Russian servicemen in Syria.

Israel held top-level security consultations on Wednesday amid concern it could be targeted by Syria or Iran if the United States strikes Syrian government forces over an alleged poison gas assault.

A similar assessment was delivered earlier on Wednesday by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, which said that pro-Syrian government forces were emptying main airports and military air bases.

Soon afterwards, however, he suggested it was time to "stop the arms race" and said there was no reason for the low in relations between Russian Federation and the US.

The Trump administration has ramped up sanctions against Russian Federation and expelled dozens of diplomats.

The OPCW does not have a mandate to establish who is responsible for attacks, and the joint OPCW-UN taskforce that once did was shut down by Russian Federation past year after it blamed the Syria regime.

USA officials have been consulting with global allies on a possible joint military response to Syria's alleged poison gas attack.

The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that 43 people had died in Saturday's attack on Douma from "symptoms consistent with exposure to highly toxic chemicals", and more than 500 in all had been treated.

The U.S. has more than 2,000 troops in Syria, and the U.S. -led coalition has launched thousands of airstrikes against the country. It seems nearly certain Trump will also respond militarily to the 2018 gassing.

Missiles "will be coming, nice and new and 'smart, '" Trump warned in a tweet.

But he notably also said there was "no reason for this", reiterated his hope for talks with Putin to halt a new arms race, and blamed his domestic political opponents for poisoning ties.

Moscow's threat to down USA missiles came from its ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander Zasypkin, who said it was based on previous statements by President Vladimir Putin and the Russian armed forces chief of staff.

"We are not surprised by such a reckless escalation from a regime like the United States which has fostered and continues to foster terrorism in Syria", a foreign ministry official said, according to state news agency SANA. This is in contrast to an incident one year ago in which USA intelligence agencies had video and other evidence of certain aspects of the actual attack, which involved the use of sarin gas.

A Kremlin spokesman has said claims of a chemical weapons attack were fabricated.

The decision to order military action rests in the hands of a serving Prime Minister, although convention dictates that MPs and peers are kept up to date with developments.

First, the chart shows clearly that the attack in Ghouta in 2013 is a massive outlier, one that the Assad regime has not repeated.

The emergence of the tweet comes just hours after he told Russian Federation - on Twitter - to "get ready" for American "smart" missiles heading to Syria.