U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Monday that Russian plans to supply Syria with an S-300 missile system would be a “significant escalation” by Moscow and that he hopes it will reconsider.
Russia said on Monday it will supply the surface-to-air missile system to Syria in two weeks against strong Israeli objections, a week after Moscow blamed Israel for indirectly causing the downing of a Russian military plane in Syria.
“We think introducing the S-300s to the Syrian government would be a significant escalation by the Russians … and something that we hope, if these press reports are accurate, they would reconsider,” Bolton told reporters.
“There shouldn’t be any misunderstanding here … The party responsible for the attacks in Syria and Lebanon and really the party responsible for the shooting down of the Russian plane is Iran,” he said.
Russia is fighting in Syria in support of the government.
Bolton warned that if the Syrian government used chemical weapons again, the U.S. response would be significant.
“If in fact they make the mistake of using chemical weapons again, the retaliation would be much stronger than before and would have the intended effect of creating structures of deterrence that they never do it again,” he said.
Bolton said the United States was doing everything it could to ensure Syria did not use chemical weapons and had pressed Russia about the issue as well.
Bolton said a political process was needed but said Russia’s plans on the missile system made that difficult. He said U.S. troops would stay active in Syria as long as Iran was involved.
“We’re not going to leave as long as Iranian troops are outside Iranian borders, and that includes Iranian proxies and militias,” he said.
Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Mary Milliken, Grant McCool and James Dalgleish
Controversial Contractors for Trump’s highly-criticized $3 billion food aid program hire lobbyist to tout their work
Companies receiving taxpayer dollars as part of President Donald Trump’s signature food aid program hired a longtime lobbyist to push back on criticism that the government is relying on unqualified contractors, such as an event planner.
“We’re working to take the stories of the impact this is having on farmers, processors, distributors and end users and making sure some positive aspects of the program, from both the economic and social standpoints, are out there too,” said the lobbyist and industry consultant, Dale Apley, who reached out to ProPublica on behalf of the contractors. “It’s not all just certain stories about certain companies that maybe shouldn’t have been awarded contracts.”
Ivanka Trump ‘urged’ Trump’s Bible photo-op — which could become a ‘defining moment’ of his presidency: NYT
First daughter and senior White House advisor Ivanka Trump "urged" her father to take part in a controversial photo-op with a Bible according to a new report from The New York Times.
"After a weekend of protests that led all the way to his own front yard and forced him to briefly retreat to a bunker beneath the White House, President Trump arrived in the Oval Office on Monday agitated over the television images, annoyed that anyone would think he was hiding and eager for action," the newspaper reported.