Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed "consequences" will follow from U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria, a "targeted military action" designed to cripple Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons production.
CNBC reports that Russia, which opposed both the coalition airstrikes and the suggestion that Assad deployed chemical weapons against his own people in a catastrophic attack last week, took — of course — to Facebook and Twitter to announce that it was considering "unspecified" action in retaliation.
Statement by the Ambassador Antonov on the strikes on #Syria:— Russia in USA (@RusEmbUSA) April 14, 2018
A pre-designed scenario is being implemented. Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences.
All responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris. pic.twitter.com/QEmWEffUzx
Russia claims, in the statement, that it is being "threatened" and that it has already planned a response.
The war of words, the Associated Press reports, got even more heated in person. According to the AP, an "unnamed" Russian official went so far as to call President Donald Trump, "Hitler," and suggest that, like the German dictator, Trump was making a mistake in starting a land war in Asia.
Trump "can be called Adolf Hitler No. 2 of our time — because, you see, he even chose the time that Hitler attacked the Soviet Union," the official told the international news service.
The international community called the U.S.-led airstrikes "quite measured," but any attack in Syria is still a risk. In the years since former President Barack Obama first drew his "red line," the stakes in Syria have changed. Both Russia and Iran have an interest in propping up dictator Assad, with Russia now so entrenched in Assad's battle against revolutionary forces (which include ISIS), that they've lost a number of soldiers.
Trump seemed to indicate Saturday that his campaign of airstrikes was over, tweeting the words, "mission accomplished."