Trump tweeted early Wednesday morning, "Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!' You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!"
Trump followed that tweet with an assessment of U.S.-Russia relations, writing, "Our relationship with Russia is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War. There is no reason for this. Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do, and we need all nations to work together. Stop the arms race?"
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The Kremlin took a jab at Trump in respondse, saying it did not engage in "Twitter diplomacy". Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying that care should be taken not to aggravate the situation in Syria.
"We do not participate in Twitter diplomacy," Peskov was quoted as saying by Interfax. "We support serious approaches. We continue to believe that it is important not to take steps that could harm an already fragile situation."
A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson responded to Trump's tweet, saying that "smart missiles should fly toward terrorists, not a legal government," adding that it could be a U.S. attempt to destroy evidence of the alleged chemical attack on the ground.
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The Kremlin said on Wednesday it hoped all sides involved in Syria would avoid doing anything that could destabilize an already fragile situation in the Middle East, and made clear it was strongly opposed to a possible U.S. strike on its ally.
The United States and its allies are considering whether to hit Syria over a suspected poison gas attack that medical relief organisations say killed dozens of people in the rebel-held town of Douma, near Damascus, on Saturday.
The Kremlin said on Wednesday allegations that Syrian government forces had carried out the chemical weapons attack were not based on real facts and said it wanted an impartial investigation into the incident.
Asked about comments by Russia's ambassador to Lebanon who said that any U.S. missiles fired at Syria would be shot down and the launch sites targeted, the Kremlin said it did not want to comment on such matters.
“As before, we would like to hope that all sides will avoid any steps that a) are not provoked by anything and b) could significantly destabilize an already fragile situation in the region,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with reporters.
Reuters contributed to this report