Responding to a threat from US President Donald Trump, who said Russia should prepare for “nice new and smart missiles” launched by America at Syria, Moscow said if the weapons were smart, they would target terrorists.
“Smart missiles should fly towards terrorists, not [Syria’s] lawful government, which has spent several years fighting against international terrorism on its territory,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in response to Trump’s tweet on Wednesday.
She added the US may be seeking to undermine an inspection by chemical weapons experts, who are planning to investigate on the ground in Syria after the alleged attack which sparked the current confrontation between Russia and the US.
“Are the OPCW inspectors aware that smart missiles are about to destroy all evidence of the chemical weapons use on the ground? Or is that the actual plan – to cover up all evidence of this fabricated attack with smart missile strikes, so that international inspectors had no evidence to look for?” Zakharova asked.
Trump’s threat comes on the back of remarks made by Russia’s ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander Zasypkin, who said Russian troops deployed in Syria have legal grounds to shoot down any American missiles attacking targets there, and may do so in case of an attack.