Mike Pompeo is expected to face a tough confirmation hearing on Thursday – but more dangerous hurdles await him as secretary of state. With tensions mounting in the Middle East, what kind of diplomat would Pompeo be?
Saoudi Arabian FM confirms support for strikes against Syria, making it the first Middle Eastern state to join the US-led trans-national attack. UK and France have pledged forces to strike over alledged chemical weapons usage. Attack expected in next 24 hours.
Former British ambassador to Syria Peter Ford, speaking during a heated interview on BBC Radio Scotland, believes that the reported chemical attack in Douma may not have been committed by Assad, contrary to claims by US President Donald Trump, among others.
“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.
Theresa May has been warned by MPs not to ignore Parliament when joining with Donald Trump in his expected military action in Syria, following an alleged chemical attack that reportedly killed dozens.
With his new national security adviser John Bolton standing behind him, US President Trump announced on Monday that “everybody” – apparently meaning Syria and Russia – “will pay a price” for the alleged chemical attack in Douma and that his generals were devising a military response.
Zasypkin stressed that “the Russian forces will confront any US aggression on Syria, by intercepting the missiles and striking their launch pads,” al-Manar TV website reported, citing the envoy.
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has urged Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump to stage direct negotiations, warning that an incidental clash between American and Russian forces could lead to open warfare.
Beijing has warned against military intervention at a “crucial phase” in the Syrian conflict, urging countries not to jump to conclusions over the alleged chemical attack in Douma. The US is considering a strike against Damascus.
The US will act against the Syrian government with or without a UN blessing, US envoy Nikki Haley told the Security Council, blaming Russian “obstructionism” for allowing the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria and beyond.