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Russia warns it will shoot down US jets as US air force is spotted flying over Syria

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Russia’s ambassador to Lebanon has warned that any US missiles fired at Syria would be shot down and the launch sites targeted.

Alexander Zasypkin, in comments broadcast on Tuesday evening, said: “If there is a strike by the Americans then… the missiles will be downed and even the sources from which the missiles were fired.”

“In the past few days, we have seen an escalation [that has the potential to become] a severe crisis,” he added.

Moscow and Damascus deny the Syrian government was behind a suspected chemical weapons attack that has led to Donald Trump and Western allies considering military action against Syria.

Syrian commentator Danny Makki tweeted that aircraft were spotted over the country, saying: “Heavy flight of US and coalition aircraft over Syria – Iraq border at present.”

“Almost everyone I know in Damascus is up and waiting for news on possible US strikes, you can cut the tension with a knife.”

An attempt to stave off a military confrontation in Syria failed in the UN security council on, with Russia and western allies unable to compromise on a concerted international response.

After Trump hinted heavily on Monday that he was on the verge of ordering airstrikes, the US-Russian struggle shifted back once more to the UN security council.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday canceled a planned trip to Latin America later this week to focus instead on responding to the Syria incident.