President Trump on Thursday appeared to temper his threat of an imminent missile strike on Syria in retaliation for an alleged chemical attack. "Never said when an attack on Syria would take place," the president tweeted. "Could be very soon or not so soon at all!" The tweet comes after his warning on Wednesday that US "missiles will be coming," itself a response to Russia's threat that it would shoot down any American weaponry. The second half of Trump's Thursday tweet branched into a different but related subject: "In any event," he wrote, "the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. Where is our 'Thank you America?'" Amid the tension, Reuters reports that a "global effort" is underway to simmer things down, with a US-Russia hotline in use to prevent an accidental conflict over Syria.
Still, in another development Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron told French TV that "we have the proof that chemical weapons—at least chlorine gas—were used," per the Guardian. He said a decision on how to respond would be made when "most effective." And British Prime Minister Theresa May summoned her Cabinet from vacation to discuss joining any US-led military action. Another potential reason behind Trump's Thursday tweet: He was taking criticism for doing what he once criticized President Obama of doing—talking about a military attack in advance on Syria. "Why can't we just be quiet and, if we attack at all, catch them by surprise?" he wondered in 2013, one of multiple critical tweets on the subject, notes CNN. The network also ran a mashup of several times Trump declared the US will stop telling its enemies about military plans.