Russia ridicules Trump's Twitter diplomacy in Syria standoff

Russia's deputy prime minister ridiculed President Donald Trump's Twitter diplomacy Friday, saying that international...

Posted: Apr 14, 2018 12:57 AM
Updated: Apr 14, 2018 12:57 AM

Russia's deputy prime minister ridiculed President Donald Trump's Twitter diplomacy Friday, saying that international relations should not depend on any individual's frame of mind.

"We cannot depend on the mood of someone on the other side of the ocean when he wakes up, on what a specific person takes into his head in the morning," Arkady Dvorkovich said, according to the Russian state-run news agency RIA Novosti.

He did not specifically name Trump, but the US leader did threaten military action against Syria in early-morning tweets this week.

As the United States considers its response to a suspected chemical attack last week in Douma, Syria, Trump's threats against Syria and Russia have been made almost entirely on Twitter.

Russia, the Syrian regime's most powerful ally, has denied a chemical attack took place and warned it would shoot down any US missiles fired over Syria, raising concerns of a US-Russia confrontation.

On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the reports of a chemical attack had been fabricated. He claimed to have evidence that the secret services of an unnamed state had a hand in staging the attack as part of a wider campaign against Russia, RIA Novosti reported.

US allies await plan

Ahead of a UN Security Council meeting on Syria, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said the United States had confirmed chemical weapons were used in Saturday's attack in Douma, though she did not explain how.

Biological samples from Douma tested positive for chlorine and a Sarin-like nerve agent, according to an American official familiar with the US analysis of test results.

Medical sources and activists in Syria said blood, urine and hair follicle samples had been smuggled in batches from Turkey during evacuations of rebel groups and their families from Douma.

Haley said the United States did not want to rush into a response to the attack, but France and the UK have been coordinating with Washington on possible action and are still awaiting a US plan.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and her senior ministers agreed on the need for action at a Cabinet meeting Thursday, while French President Emmanuel Macron said that France would target Syria's chemical capabilities if it conducted any strikes.

Macron also said in an interview Thursday with French TV channel TF1 that he also had proof chemical weapons were used in the attack. He provided no details but pointed to Syria's Assad regime as the likely perpetrator.

Germany joined the chorus of European countries saying it believed the attack involved chemical weapons and called for action.

After sending mixed signals on their stance, US officials now appear to be on the same page, using softer rhetoric than Trump's initial threats to strike Syria.

Missing a self-imposed, 48-hour deadline to make a decision, Trump rolled back on that timeline. "Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all!" he wrote Thursday on Twitter.

Defense Secretary James Mattis told lawmakers Thursday he believed there had been a chemical attack and that although it was "simply inexcusable, beyond the pale," he called attention to the risks of further US involvement in Syria.

"We are trying to stop the murder of innocent people, but on a strategic level it's how do we keep this from escalating out of control, if you get my drift on that?" he said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 115763

Reported Deaths: 3263
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7973177
DeSoto703979
Harrison522384
Jackson457884
Rankin394086
Madison383194
Lee357380
Forrest304678
Jones292484
Washington258399
Lafayette250443
Lauderdale2478135
Lamar225538
Oktibbeha202454
Bolivar201677
Neshoba1849111
Lowndes179962
Panola170040
Leflore167187
Sunflower162349
Warren154855
Monroe150673
Pontotoc147220
Marshall143129
Lincoln140157
Pike138456
Copiah137536
Scott125429
Coahoma124937
Grenada122638
Yazoo122234
Simpson121549
Union118825
Tate116839
Leake115041
Holmes114760
Itawamba113925
Pearl River113660
Adams108544
Prentiss106120
Wayne101722
Alcorn100112
George99218
Covington97527
Marion95042
Tippah90322
Newton86627
Chickasaw85526
Tallahatchie84526
Winston84121
Hancock84028
Tishomingo81241
Attala79426
Clarke75851
Clay69321
Jasper68717
Walthall63927
Calhoun62612
Noxubee59817
Smith59416
Montgomery54923
Yalobusha54514
Claiborne53716
Tunica53517
Lawrence51814
Perry49423
Carroll49312
Greene47818
Stone47514
Humphreys43816
Amite42513
Quitman4206
Jefferson Davis41011
Webster37613
Benton3416
Wilkinson33820
Kemper32615
Sharkey28514
Jefferson27610
Franklin2423
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 158701

Reported Deaths: 2680
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23292377
Mobile16916315
Tuscaloosa10345140
Montgomery10250197
Madison935096
Shelby739063
Baldwin665869
Lee654665
Calhoun459961
Marshall439550
Etowah428551
Houston417034
Morgan416435
DeKalb342629
Elmore320853
St. Clair295542
Limestone287230
Walker279492
Talladega266435
Cullman248024
Lauderdale229442
Jackson215915
Autauga205931
Franklin205531
Colbert202132
Russell19493
Blount193225
Chilton188432
Dallas186627
Coffee177111
Dale176351
Covington174729
Escambia172730
Clarke135217
Chambers135044
Pike134113
Tallapoosa132987
Marion108129
Barbour10339
Marengo101922
Butler101140
Winston92913
Geneva9067
Lawrence85832
Pickens85218
Bibb84014
Randolph82716
Hale76830
Washington74912
Clay74412
Cherokee73814
Henry7176
Lowndes71328
Bullock64917
Monroe64610
Crenshaw60830
Perry5926
Fayette57713
Cleburne5698
Wilcox56812
Conecuh56113
Macon53620
Lamar4965
Sumter47221
Choctaw39212
Greene34216
Coosa2043
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 61°
Columbus
Scattered Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 63°
Oxford
Overcast
57° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 57°
Starkville
Broken Clouds
59° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 59°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather