US President Donald Trump’s tweets undermined the attack planned by the anti-Assad coalition against the Syrian state regime, which has been using chemical weapons against the civilian population, The Times reports.
According to the British newspaper, for the attack, the US amassed the largest air and sea strike forces since the war in Iraq in 2003.
However, the chance of a surprise attack was ruined when the US president openly threatened Russia with a swift attack, rendering virtually all the attack plans useless.
According to a source in the British military, the Pentagon was shocked by Trump’s actions, and asked him to refrain from disclosing their plans to the enemy in future.
Trump backed down and made a new tweet stating that the attack may not take place soon. This was no longer relevant, however, because Assad had already relocated his military equipment to the Russian airbase in Khmeimim (Latakia, on Syria’s west coast), being certain that the US-led airstrike would not target the Russian airport.
“Everyone saw that tweet, and there was a massive transfer in Syria. This meant that the target needed to be revised,” the article notes.
Moscow warned that in the event of an attack, it would shoot down all missiles and launch platforms. The airbase at Khmeimim is protected by an S-400 anti-air and anti-missile system, which has a range of up to 400 kilometers, and can shoot down up to 80 targets at once.
On April 7 a chemical attack was made against the Syrian rebel-controlled city of Duma in Eastern Ghouta. At least 70 people were killed in the attack.
The US State Department holds Russia accountable for the attack. US President Donald Trump warned Russia to be prepared for a missile strike on Syria. Later, the American destroyer “Donald Cook”, which is equipped with 60 Tomahawk missiles, approached the Syrian city of Tartus.