The regional tensions simmering under the surface of the Syrian civil war dramatically escalated over the weekend, with Russian officials blaming a deadly missile attack on Israel while President Trump slammed the ‘Animal Assad’ over a recent chemical attack.
The Russian government officially accused Israel of launching a missile attack on a Syrian Air Base Sunday; possibly in retaliation for dictator Bashar al-Assad’s suspected chemical attack that killed at least 60 civilians in the suburbs outside the capital.
President Trump blasted the dictator on social media within hours of the attack, saying “Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price…”
Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2018
The reportedly missiles struck an airbase near Damascus, killing at least 14 individuals including Iranian nationals. No country has claimed responsibility for the attack.
American officials denied any involvement in the air strikes, with a Pentagon spokesperson adding, “We continue to closely watch the situation and support the ongoing diplomatic efforts to hold those who use chemical weapons, in Syria and otherwise, accountable.”
BOILING POINT: Syria Threatens ISRAEL with ‘Surprise’ Attacks
Bashar al-Assad’s brutal regime issued a direct threat to Israel on Tuesday, warning the region’s only democracy of “more surprises” should their air force continue to operate over Syrian territory, reports Reuters.
The threat comes just days after the Syrian military -armed with equipment from Iran- shot down an Israel F16 fighter jet; prompting a fierce response from the Israeli military which immediately destroyed the anti-air battery.
“Have full confidence the aggressor will be greatly surprised because it thought this war – this war of attrition Syria has been exposed to for years – had made it incapable of confronting attacks,” said Assistant Foreign Minister Ayman Sussan.
“God willing, they will see more surprises whenever they try to attack Syria,” he added.
Syria’s direct threat follows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s tough talk towards both the Iranian and Syrian regime; saying, “We will continue to harm anyone who tries to harm us. This was our policy and this will remain our policy.”
COLD WAR 2: Russian Jets, US Fighters FACE OFF Over Syria
Two US fighter jets scrambled over Syrian airspace on Thursday, chasing down a pair of Russian attack aircraft after Putin’s Air Force violated an international agreement and entered US-controlled territory.
During the altercation, the American fighters fired “flares” towards the intruding jets, in a gesture known as “head butting,” a defensive maneuver to alert enemy aircraft of your presence and willingness to engage.
“U.S. military officials raised concerns about the incident through an established hotline established in the past two years between American and Russian air forces,” reports Fox News. “In recent months, Russian jets have increasingly flown in restricted areas in eastern Syria, violating long established agreements with the U.S.-led coalition.”
The United States and Russia find themselves on opposite sides of the nearly seven-year long civil war that has ravaged Syria and the Middle East, with Washington backing Syrian-rebels and Moscow supporting the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
While the two countries support different factions, they have pledged mutual cooperation to help defeat ISIS and other terror organizations operating in the region.