Trump Tells Russia To Prepare For U.S. Missile Strike On Syria, And This Could Get Hairy

Is punishing Syria for using chemical weapons worth risking an all-out war?
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There's already plenty of tension between Russia and the United States, and that's definitely not improving. On Wednesday President Trump tweeted a warning to Russia that they should "get ready" for some missile action over Syria after an alleged chemical weapons attack there on the town of Douma. 

So, that's the two most powerful countries on the planet quite possibly heading toward a clash over Russia's support of the Syrian government. Movements just reported on Twitter may indicate that the president wasn't issuing an idle threat.

There was an American strike on Syria in April 2017, but it didn't have a substantial impact. The gas attack on civilians by the forces of President Bashar al-Assad was the catalyst for the US escalation of rhetoric—a big change from recent attempts to build more friendly relations. 

The Poseidon's movement toward Syria may be an indicator of just how serious the American position truly is. But Business Insider reported a Russian threat to shoot down any US missiles—and hit missile bases—so it's pretty obvious things really are heating up.

To add to tensions, the Washington Post reports that the "United States, France and Britain have been consulting about launching a military strike." This is after UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that continued Syrian use "of chemical weapons cannot go unchallenged."

Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Kentucky departs refueled

Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Kentucky 

One nation that definitely would like for Russia and the US to dial it back is Turkey. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Wednesday that the superpowers "are fighting like street bullies." 

"The time is not one for competing," he reportedly said, "It is time to heal the wounds of the region."

It's hard to blame the prime minister of a neighboring nation for saying, 'whoa, let's cool it, guys.' A US-Russian military conflict has been a long-running fear around the world pretty much since the end of World War II. 

However, the effect chemical weapons had in World War I made it clear they are as cruel as they are deadly, and even survivors may be disabled for life. That's why the Chemical Weapons Convention has been in effect for decades. Nations that make use of them are automatically considered pariah states.

If Russia continues to aid Syria and perhaps lie and obfuscate about Bashar al-Assad's genocidal tactics against opponents, they might as well be a pariah too. 

Things are getting dangerous, but let's wait and see if they're so bad we should essentially go to war with Russia. That'd be about as bad as it gets.

h/t WaPo, BI