Thahir Asmal,Radio Islam News - 12-04-18
US president Donald Trump’s threat towards Russia and Syria in the past 24 hours has to be taken seriously, according to Middle East commentator and journalist Oz Katerji.
Trump signaled a warning via Twitter on Wednesday asking Moscow to “get ready” for missile strikes in Syria as he slammed the country for backing what he termed the “gas-killing animal” Bashar al-Assad.
The US President tweeted that the air strikes would be coming “nice and new and smart”.
UK-based journalist, writer and film-maker, Katerji, who focuses on issues in the Middle East, believes that even though the American leader was difficult to predict, a conflict of some sort was brewing.
“It’s hard to know for certain what’s going to happen in the next few days, but the indications both diplomatically and militarily look like they heading towards some sort of confrontation with the Assad-regime,” he said.
“So it does look like confrontation is inevitable. However, Donald Trump is a quite difficult man to predict. So I would that a military strike is imminent, but I don’t think it’s going to a very large one or one that changes the situation on the ground too much.”
Katerji used last year’s April retaliation by the US on Syria as a guide to what may happen this time.
“We know that the last time this happened when the Assad regime used chemical weapons on civilians that caused this much of damage, Donald Trump responded by firing 59 Tomahawk Cruise Missiles at the Al Shayrat airbase,” he added. “So it should be thought of within that context.
“Now that Assad has used chemical weapons again, surely the response has to be stronger because the last one wasn’t enough of a deterrent.”
The attack of 2017 came days after Assad allegedly used chemical weapons against Syrian civilians, drawing an international outcry.
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