The Syrian government and its allies are in consultation over USA threats of military action and have "options, an adviser to President Bashar al-Assad was quoted as saying in an interview with a Lebanese channel on Wednesday".
The move comes just hours after Donald Trump warned of imminent military action over the purported chemical attack in the rebel enclave on Saturday. It is not in Russia's interest to escalate the war, so the Russians would probably urge restraint again if the USA and allied attack was limited, the former official said. And since Russian soldiers are working closely with Assad's troops, it's tough to target Syria without putting Russians in the crosshairs as well.
In an interview with Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV station, Mr Zasypkin said any missiles fired at Syria would be shot down and the launching sites targeted.
"If Russia were to retaliate against a US Navy ship with its own heavy navy presence in the region, the escalation would most likely resemble war between the two countries", wrote Alex Lockie at Business Insider. Russia downplayed the incident at the time, saying the dead Russians were private mercenaries not affiliated with the government. "You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!"
Citing information previously released by local health organizations, WHO said that "an estimated 500 patients presented to health facilities exhibiting signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals".
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova responded to Trump's tweet saying: "Smart missiles should fly towards terrorists, not [Syria's] lawful government, which has spent several years fighting against worldwide terrorism on its territory".
Russian Federation claimed its own investigators found no dead bodies or any injured people in the area.
"Russia's protection of the Assad regime and failure to stop the use of chemical weapons in Syria calls into question its commitment to resolving the overall crisis".
Western leaders, including the U.S., France, and the United Kingdom, are coordinating on how to respond to the attack. For one, Trump said the missiles headed toward Syria include some that are "smart".
Mr Trump had on Monday warned of a quick, forceful response once responsibility for the Syria attack was established.