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The markets shook Wednesday morning as President Donald Trump threatened to fire missiles into Syria in retaliation against the ruling regime’s suspected use of chemical weapons.
The president’s tweet followed a Russian diplomat’s warning that Russia would shoot down any American missiles directed toward Syria.
The U.S. supported a proposal Tuesday at the United Nations Security Council to initiate international investigations into Syria’s chemical weaponry, but the resolution failed on Russia’s veto. Western allies are considering intervening military action.
Why It’s Important
U.S. intervention in Syria would exacerbate deteriorating relations with Russia, as Trump acknowledged Wednesday.
"Our relationship with Russia is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War," Trump said in a tweet. "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?"
Stock futures dropped on the updates, with both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average trading down 1 percent. The VanEck Vectors Russia (NYSE: RSX) was also down about 3 percent in pre-market trading.
Despite his tweet of ostensible warning, the president asserted that any intervention in Syria will be stealthy.
Trump said Monday he would decide “over the next 24 to 48 hours” on his response to Syria. He soon cancelled his trip to South America to attend to matters in the Middle East and engaged in collaborative discussions with French President Emmanuel Macron and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May.
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