Donald Trump's warning for Russia to "get ready" for US missiles hailing on its Syrian ally and Moscow's threat to shoot them down shook financial markets and underlines sinking relations between Washington and Moscow.
The US President is usually reluctant to criticise the Russian leader by name, but the conflict in Syria has quickly morphed into a sideshow battle of Trump versus Vladimir Putin.
The resolve of the strongmen leaders will be tested, as geopolitical concerns deviate from US-China trade tensions and North Korea's nuclear weapons testing.
The deterioration in US-Russia affairs culminated in Trump's tweet on late on Wednesday (AEST) deploring Russia's support for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, who is accused of deploying chemical weapons that killed at least 48 people on Saturday.
Read the full article at AFR