On Monday, President Donald J. Trump tweeted a warning to Syria, Iran and Russia over a potential chemical attack.

Trump tweeted: President Bashar al-Assad of Syria must not recklessly attack Idlib Province. The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy. Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed. Don’t let that happen!

The tweet follows a back and forth between the Trump administration and Russia over the weekend. Bloomberg reports:

The U.S. and Russia exchanged warnings about a possible chemical attack in Syria and a Western military intervention in response, on the eve of what may be one of the most decisive campaigns in the Middle Eastern country’s civil war.

Tensions between the nuclear powers flared after National Security Adviser John Bolton told his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, that the U.S. has information Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may be preparing to use chemical weapons to recapture the northwestern province of Idlib from rebels.

The U.S. is ready to respond forcefully, Bolton said during a five-hour meeting in Geneva on Thursday, according to four people familiar with the discussions. Assad’s army, with Russian air support, has been mustering troops and tanks around Idlib, the last stronghold of Syrian opposition groups now dominated by jihadists.

Russia’s Defense Ministry hit back on Saturday, accusing the U.S. of collaborating with al-Qaeda-linked rebels who are preparing to stage an incident that would serve as a pretext for another round of Western attacks on Assad.


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