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Russia ridicules Trump's Twitter diplomacy in Syria standoff

Russia's deputy prime minister ridiculed President Donald Trump's Twitter diplomacy Friday, saying that international...

Posted: Apr 14, 2018 12:57 AM
Updated: Apr 14, 2018 12:57 AM

Russia's deputy prime minister ridiculed President Donald Trump's Twitter diplomacy Friday, saying that international relations should not depend on any individual's frame of mind.

"We cannot depend on the mood of someone on the other side of the ocean when he wakes up, on what a specific person takes into his head in the morning," Arkady Dvorkovich said, according to the Russian state-run news agency RIA Novosti.

He did not specifically name Trump, but the US leader did threaten military action against Syria in early-morning tweets this week.

As the United States considers its response to a suspected chemical attack last week in Douma, Syria, Trump's threats against Syria and Russia have been made almost entirely on Twitter.

Russia, the Syrian regime's most powerful ally, has denied a chemical attack took place and warned it would shoot down any US missiles fired over Syria, raising concerns of a US-Russia confrontation.

On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the reports of a chemical attack had been fabricated. He claimed to have evidence that the secret services of an unnamed state had a hand in staging the attack as part of a wider campaign against Russia, RIA Novosti reported.

US allies await plan

Ahead of a UN Security Council meeting on Syria, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said the United States had confirmed chemical weapons were used in Saturday's attack in Douma, though she did not explain how.

Biological samples from Douma tested positive for chlorine and a Sarin-like nerve agent, according to an American official familiar with the US analysis of test results.

Medical sources and activists in Syria said blood, urine and hair follicle samples had been smuggled in batches from Turkey during evacuations of rebel groups and their families from Douma.

Haley said the United States did not want to rush into a response to the attack, but France and the UK have been coordinating with Washington on possible action and are still awaiting a US plan.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and her senior ministers agreed on the need for action at a Cabinet meeting Thursday, while French President Emmanuel Macron said that France would target Syria's chemical capabilities if it conducted any strikes.

Macron also said in an interview Thursday with French TV channel TF1 that he also had proof chemical weapons were used in the attack. He provided no details but pointed to Syria's Assad regime as the likely perpetrator.

Germany joined the chorus of European countries saying it believed the attack involved chemical weapons and called for action.

After sending mixed signals on their stance, US officials now appear to be on the same page, using softer rhetoric than Trump's initial threats to strike Syria.

Missing a self-imposed, 48-hour deadline to make a decision, Trump rolled back on that timeline. "Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all!" he wrote Thursday on Twitter.

Defense Secretary James Mattis told lawmakers Thursday he believed there had been a chemical attack and that although it was "simply inexcusable, beyond the pale," he called attention to the risks of further US involvement in Syria.

"We are trying to stop the murder of innocent people, but on a strategic level it's how do we keep this from escalating out of control, if you get my drift on that?" he said.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 488170

Reported Deaths: 6602
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1012851589
Ramsey43273808
Dakota36543394
Anoka33430390
Washington22183261
Stearns18786202
St. Louis14866265
Scott13381107
Wright12580116
Olmsted1184890
Sherburne877174
Carver783241
Clay694587
Rice672291
Blue Earth599635
Kandiyohi580674
Crow Wing522782
Chisago501045
Otter Tail485570
Benton449290
Winona420049
Mower410031
Douglas393768
Goodhue388069
Nobles387147
Polk344663
McLeod340550
Beltrami338751
Morrison326247
Itasca314246
Becker313942
Lyon313844
Isanti308256
Steele303011
Carlton300249
Freeborn285824
Pine282616
Nicollet261541
Todd249230
Brown247237
Le Sueur237420
Mille Lacs229047
Cass221024
Waseca210117
Meeker208134
Martin190629
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Houston158114
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Aitkin119233
Watonwan11798
Sibley117610
Rock116114
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Pipestone101824
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Murray9538
Jackson94210
Swift87818
Pope8095
Marshall78415
Stevens7468
Lake74218
Clearwater71914
Lac qui Parle68616
Wilkin67711
Koochiching62111
Big Stone5163
Lincoln5122
Grant4918
Norman4788
Unassigned44768
Mahnomen4437
Kittson40921
Red Lake3615
Traverse3105
Lake of the Woods2221
Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 336947

Reported Deaths: 5491
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk51993559
Linn19497317
Scott17149212
Black Hawk14956293
Woodbury13828214
Johnson1314875
Dubuque12444195
Dallas1021893
Pottawattamie9877146
Story963545
Warren514076
Clinton502184
Cerro Gordo500683
Webster495588
Sioux479869
Marshall464273
Des Moines427961
Muscatine425693
Buena Vista412637
Wapello4042110
Jasper387267
Plymouth368578
Lee354453
Marion341171
Jones285055
Henry279837
Bremer270255
Carroll266649
Crawford253535
Boone244030
Benton240854
Washington239247
Mahaska215746
Jackson209939
Dickinson204140
Tama202865
Kossuth198655
Delaware186140
Clay184425
Winneshiek183228
Fayette179235
Page177919
Buchanan177829
Wright174231
Hamilton173842
Cedar172723
Hardin169839
Harrison167670
Clayton160154
Butler159231
Mills148420
Floyd148141
Poweshiek148030
Cherokee146236
Lyon145541
Allamakee144148
Madison143018
Iowa140323
Hancock138030
Grundy132230
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Calhoun129411
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Jefferson128634
Appanoose123347
Louisa122444
Mitchell120540
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Union119131
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Franklin109219
Palo Alto101321
Howard99522
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Monroe89828
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Lucas72121
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Worth6678
Unassigned6590
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