Russia Takes Jab at Trump Over Syria: We Don't Do Twitter Diplomacy

A Kremlin spokesperson said the 'invented' chemical attack in Syria cannot be pretext for military action

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attend a ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow on April 11, 2018.
\ POOL/ REUTERS

The Kremlin said on Wednesday it did not engage in "Twitter diplomacy" after U.S. President Donald Trump used the social media platform to warn Russia of imminent military action in Syria, the Interfax news agency reported. 

To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz>> Syria Live Updates: Trump Threatens Moscow as Israel Stares Down Iran

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." 

>> Israel readies for possible Iranian retaliation after strike on Syrian base ■ Target identified Revolutionary Guards air force compound under exclusive Iranian control

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!"

The United States invented the reports of a chemical attack in Syria, Peskov also said Wednesday, adding that this could not be used as a justification for U.S. strikes on Syrian government targets. 

"We primarily believe that it is important to not take steps that could damage this fragile situation," Peskov said.

>>Israel on high alert, prepares for possible Iranian retaliation after strike on Syrian base ■ Revealed: The Iranian compound targeted by the 'Israeli strike' in Syria

The U.S. is still assessing intelligence about last weekend's suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Wednesday, striking a cautious tone hours after Trump threatened missile strikes. 

Asked if he had seen enough evidence to blame Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces for the attack, Mattis said: "We're still assessing the intelligence - ourselves and our allies. We're still working on this." He did not elaborate. 

Mattis also restated that the U.S. military stood ready to provide military options, if appropriate, and as determined by Trump.